Born on this date: Denise Nicholas

Denise Nicholas turns 70 today, July 12, 2014. I’m sure she has done other things, but to me she will always be guidance counselor Liz McIntyre on Room 222. The series ran from 1969 to 1974.

I find the opening credits to this show very entertaining, with the period fashions and the orderly students climbing the stairs in sync in their short skirts and knee socks. It’s hard to believe that at that time, most schools still had dress codes that prohibited girls from wearing pants.

Opening credits, Room 222

If you want to see the later version of the opening credits where Karen Valentine drops her books instead of having the bus doors close on her, watch it here. (Note: You might recognize Michael Constantine, the actor playing the school principal, as the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding who sprayed Windex on everything.)

This article in the Los Angeles Times compares the high school in Room 222 with the ones in Glee and 90210, and finds the newer shows’ depictions lacking. “Despite its dated elements, ‘Room 222’ was rooted in a relevance and topicality that those involved say is missing from ‘Glee,’ ‘90210’ and other contemporary school-based shows that put more emphasis on being crass than going to class,” the article says.

Well, I don’t know about that. I mean, I certainly don’t recall that Miss McIntyre ever produced her own line of homemade pamphlets like Emma, the guidance counselor on Glee. Take a look at the samples below—you can’t say they’re not relevant and topical.

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