Gary was an incredibly successful and wealthy businesswoman. She would have made the Forbes 400 list, but only reached #401 due to ‘Gary’s Shoes and Accessories for Today’s Woman’, her single failing business. Gary is not very involved in Gary’s Shoes in a day to day manner. Al doesn’t even meet Gary for the first 20 plus years he works at the store, leading him to believe she is either a man or perhaps not even a real person. Gary is also a woman who needs to be in control of everything in her environment, especially men. This is illustrated when she becomes Bud Bundy’s “sugar momma” in the episode Bud on the Side. She is so controlling and overbearing of Bud, that he breaks up with her despite the fact that she has lavished gifts and attention on him.
During Married with Children’s run Gary appears in seven episodes. These episodes were; Business Still Sucks (Season 9, Episode 6), when we first encounter Gary. Al believes that Gary is a man and won’t notice that Al turned it into a man’s shoe store.
Something Larry This Was Comes (Season 9, Episode 21), A Shoe Room With A View (Season 10, Episode 2), Children of the Corns (Season 11,Episode 2), where Al and Griff blackmail Gary for running a sweatshop.
Additional episodes are God Help Ye Merry Bundymen (Season 11, Episode 8), Bud on the Side (Season 11, Episode 11) & Chicago Shoe Exchange (Season 11, Episode 24).
Janet Carroll (1940-2012), the classically trained actress, first came to the attention of the US audience with her role as Joel’s (played by Tom Cruise) mother in the 1983 film Risky Business. After this introduction, she worked steadily in films, appearing in 1989’s Family Business with Sean Connery & 2002’s Enough! with Jennifer Lopez, just to name a few.
Janet also made frequent appearances on Broadway and her recent role was Aunt Marge in a 2004-2005 production of Little Woman.
In addition to her acting career, Janet performed at Jazz Festivals throughout the United States and Canada. She was the recipient of the “Best Vocalist Award” from the Redding Jazz Festival and given great reviews by fans and critics across the county for her one-woman concerts and cabaret appearances. Some of her best CD’s are I’ll Be Seeing You, I Can’t Give You Anything But Love and Lady Be Good.
Janet appeared in a number of classic television series like Knight Rider, 21 Jump Street & The Golden Girls. Two of her best known recurring television characters were Doris Dial on Murphy Brown and Marian Shaw on Melrose Place, both of which showed her range as an actress. But perhaps her funniest role though was as Al Bundy’s shoe store boss Gary on Married with Children.
Janet Carroll has passed away on May 22nd, 2012 and will stay in Married with children fans’ hearts forever.
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