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Teacher, Teacher

By RD Heldenfels Published: August 30, 2005

Here's a new press release that made me feel old:

With school back in session, INSIDE TV magazine pays tribute to the classroom
leaders on television who really make the grade (September 5 issue, on newsstands Thursday, September 1) by naming the Top Ten Most Memorable Teachers on Television.

Gabe Kotter, (actor/comedian Gabe Kaplan) teacher of remedial high school students in Brooklyn, NY affectionately
known as the "Sweathogs" on the 1970s hit sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter" was named No. 1, followed by Edna Krabappel (Marcia Wallace) of "The Simpsons" and Laura Ingalls (Melissa Gilbert) of "Little House on the Prairie" in the No. 2 and 3 spots, respectively.

The remaining spots in the top 10 were: 4. Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), ''Friends.'' 5. Charlie Moore (Howard Hesseman), ''Head of the Class.'' 6. Mark Cooper (Mark Curry), ''Hangin' With Mr. Cooper.'' 7. Arthur ''The Fonz'' Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler), ''Happy Days.'' 8. Carol Vessey (Julie Bowen), ''Ed.'' 9. Lydia Grant (Debbie Allen), ''Fame.'' 10.  Max Medina (Scott Cohen) ''Gilmore Girls.''

Now, I know these lists are meant to be argument-starters, and that the magazine wants to put on the cover faces that will be familiar to readers it hopes are relatively young.

Still, if I were putting together such a list, I might have dug a little deeper into TV history. Anyone care to pay tribute to Connie Brooks (Eve Arden) of ''Our Miss Brooks''? Or Robinson J. Peepers (Wally Cox), of ''Mr. Peepers''? (Tony Randall also played a teacher on the show.)

How about another Mr., John Novak (James Franciscus) of ''Mr. Novak''? Loved that show when I was young. Then there's Miss Frances -- Frances Horwich -- of kiddie favorite ''Ding Dong School.'' And what about Pete Dixon (Lloyd Haynes) of ''Room 222''?


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