#1LinerWeds From Anissa Jones

You know Anissa (uh-NEE-suh) Jones from Family Affair, which ran from 1965 until CBS’s “rural purge” of 1971. It was her biggest role and her last, although she was considered for the role of Regan in 1973’s The Exorcist (which eventually went to Linda Blair) and Iris in 1976’s Taxi Driver (which became an iconic role for Jodie Foster). When she tragically took her life with a drug overdose in 1976, she was being considered for the role of Violet in 1978’s Pretty Baby, a role that eventually went to Brooke Shields. IMDb tells us “Her fatal overdose was of a combination of cocaine, angel dust, Quaaludes and Seconal. The San Diego County coroner said it was one of the most severe cases of drug overdose he had ever seen in San Diego County.” Wow.

One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word about Armour Star franks. Hot dog diggity, are they good!

17 thoughts on “#1LinerWeds From Anissa Jones

    1. It was really tragic, but I think the issue was she was at a loss after “Family Affair” ended. She had other opportunities, but said she wasn’t interested in acting anymore, but then she auditioned for a couple of iconic roles that ultimately went to other actors who frankly didn’t have the experience or the appeal she did. The whole thing makes me wonder if someone killed her and made it look like suicide, kind of like the rumors about Marilyn Monroe.


  1. Sad. Interesting conspiracy theory. Why would someone want to kill her? I remember watching the show but I didn’t realize we were that close in age. She seemed much younger to me.


  2. I remember Anissa very well. I watched Family Affair every week when I was in elementary school. The show was often a topic of conversation at school the day after it aired. I’ve always thought it was strange that the cancellation is described as part of the rural purge at CBS when the show was set in New York. I believe that she killed herself. She was very unhappy and didn’t really have a home anymore. She and her mother didn’t get along and I think she was on her own–except for having the kind of friends that aren’t real friends. I remember reading that she ran through her money very quickly and was at loose ends. During Family Affair, she worked hours that would have been trying for an adult. She had to make personal appearances and there was a “Buffy” clothing line. Johnny Whitaker said in an interview that his situation was very different because he went directly into making some movies when the show ended.



    1. It’s known as the “rural purge” because shows like “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Green Acres,” “Hee Haw,” and “Petticoat Junction” were canceled, but there were others that got the axe, including “Family Affair” and “Hogan’s Heroes.” CBS wanted to update its image and they needed room for Archie Bunker and Mary Tyler Moore. To be fair, a lot of the shows had run their course. CBS had to do it with the “CSI:”s and will likely have to purge the “NCIS”es next.

      Interesting that Brian Keith wanted to bring Anissa onto his new show, only to be told that she wanted to get out of acting. It sounds like she actually tried to be a normal kid, even getting a job at Winchell’s, but she found she couldn’t escape Buffy because people would come in to buy a dozen donuts and recognize her…


    1. She was about seven when the show started, and when I think she made the remark.

      Being a child star is a rough life, especially when you’re that young. Poor kid. (Sounds funny, because she was just two years younger than I…)


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