10 Famous Housekeepers
Get some helpful life lessons from these famous characters.
Turn on the TV and you'll realize many characters are so busy getting into trouble, they have to hire a housekeeper to help tidy the house and keep everything going smoothly. These housekeepers add a touch of humor and love to any situation. Here are some of our favorite housekeepers and lessons we can learn from them.
Alice, "The Brady Bunch"
Alice was dependable and down to earth. She never complained, loved the family and was always there when they needed her. Alice was a true member of the Brady household and helped out with the confusion and chaos that comes with a blended family. And what's more, she always provided a listening ear and advised without judgment.
Life lessons from Alice: Blending a family can be tricky. It's a time in which kids are often confused, and they may rebel or lash out at "new" members of the family. Alice provided a much-needed sense of neutrality for the Brady family. Having an unbiased third party can give kids a safe outlet to share their worries about their new family.
Geoffrey, "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"
The former-athlete-turned-butler of the Banks household, Geoffrey often served as a foil for Philip Banks. As a working-class person, he was the person in the house Will could relate to at the series' start. Geoffrey was very close with the kids and was confident in his life outside of the home.
Life lessons from Geoffrey: Be yourself. Despite being nervous about his upbringing, Geoffrey was always comfortable in his own skin. All it takes to blend in to any situation is a sense of confidence. By being yourself, you can make it anywhere
Mrs. Garrett, "Diff'rent Strokes"
Mr. Drummond was so busy running a company and a household that someone had to come in and actually take care of the house. Edna Garrett was the Drummonds' housekeeper at the beginning of the series (later being spun off into the "Facts of Life.") She had a great sense of humor and a genuine rapport with all of the kids. She made Arnold and Willis feel at home in an awkward situation.
Life lessons from Mrs. Garrett: Mrs. Garrett always taught the boys about compassion and how to stand up for things they believed in. This trait would come into play in "Facts of Life" as well. Despite her own character flaws, like a tendency to let people take advantage of her, Mrs. Garrett had everyone's best interests at heart. She showed that standing up for yourself in a compassionate manner gets results.
Niles, "The Nanny"
Fran's partner in crime and C.C.'s worst nightmare, Niles was the butler who knew it all. He was constantly in everyone's business, trying to pair Fran and Mr. Sheffield and trading barbed jabs with C.C. Having been in Maxwell's shadow since prep school, Niles is often bothered by and envious of Maxwell, but in the end, he is a beloved part of the family.
Life lessons from Niles: Never settle for less. Niles spent most of his life as a butler, and he took pride in his abilities, even to the extent of being nominated for butler of the year.
Dorota, "Gossip Girl"
Blair Waldorf is closer to her housekeeper, Dorota, than she is to her own parents. Dorota is the only constant in Blair's life, which involves a recently outed father, a step father who she isn't overly fond of and a fashion mogul mother who is never in town. Dorota does everything for Blair, including keeping her secrets.
Life lessons from Dorota: Always be there for your friends. Regardless of what was going on in Blair's life, Dorota always backed her up. While she knew Blair and Chuck were destined to be together, she didn't press the relationship. She knew how to cheer Blair up in any situation. She was a loyal friend, but also had a life of her own.
Tony Micelli, "Who's the Boss"
A former baseball star turned live-in housekeeper, Tony initially took the job to get his daughter out of Brooklyn. They ended up integrating themselves into the Bower family. Samantha and Jonathan often argued like siblings, and Angela filled a void in Samantha's life, serving as a female role model. Tony chips away at Angela's rigid nature, and Angela helps Tony to be more mature. Eventually, they fall in love.
Life lessons from Tony: Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Tony didn't have a ton of experience when he moved Sam to Connecticut, but he knew he didn't want her growing up in the gritty Brooklyn scene. He was prepared to knock on several doors to make a better life for her, and in the process, he ended up meeting the love of his life. Don't be scared to knock on unknown doors.
Magda, "Sex and the City"
When Miranda gets busy trying to make partner at her firm, she brings in reinforcements to help her home life. Magda is one of the only truly parental figures in the show, and brings a motherly vibe to Miranda's household (which Miranda is staunchly opposed to). She sticks around to help after Brady is born and becomes a fixture for Miranda and Steve.
Life lessons from Magda: Know when enough is enough. In the beginning, Magda is very aware of how her lifestyle clashes with Miranda's. She takes the opportunity to put up little reminders in Miranda's apartment on how ladies should behave. Miranda makes it very clear this is not something she is going to change, and Magda learns to accept Miranda's lifestyle, while occasionally incorporating special Magda touches.
Rosario, "Will and Grace"
Nobody actually knows what Karen does for Grace, but they do know that she is a rich lady with a posh pad and a maid. Rosario is very surly, and she and Karen constantly throw barbs at one another. Rosario is known for mocking Karen's drinking and her entitled attitude. But at the end of the day, these two really love and respect each other, and they must enjoy one another's company to endure the constant jabs.
Life lessons from Rosario: Don't let people walk all over you. Rosario works well with Karen, as they have similar personalities. While being a bully isn't a way to garner respect, standing up to one is. Rosario knows just as well as Karen that their barbs and jabs are traded with mutual admiration. When she has to get her tonsils out, Karen actually shows her compassionate side and lets Rosario know how much she appreciates her.
Mr. Belvedere, "Mr. Belvedere"
Having come from a posh and aristocratic environment, Mr. Belvedere finds himself in strange territory with the Owens family, which is slightly more laid back than his previous clients. He often butts heads with Wesley, the youngest member of the family, and constantly tries to impart class on people whom he sees as lacking it. However, he is a respected authority figure and provides stability for the Wesley.
Life lessons from Mr. Belvedere: It's OK to appreciate the finer things, but being well-rounded means taking it all in. While it may not always be feasible to drop $2,500 on a pair of shoes or eat beluga caviar at parties, there's nothing wrong with appreciating a little culture. Taking in classic novels, classical music and art doesn't make someone an outcast, it rounds out their personality. However, Mr. Belvedere always learned his own lessons by observing people who were different. We could all learn a thing or two about that.
Benson serves as a man behind the scenes of a flippant governor, often keeping him organized. He gets into scuffles with the other domestics and the chief of staff. However, he always manages to mend fences and keep the family running smoothly, at least in the public eye. Benson was a hard-working person with a keen ability to spot opportunity, and he ended the series as lieutenant governor.
Life lessons from Benson: When you see an opportunity, take it. Benson didn't let his status as a housekeeper stop him from making connections and using them to climb the political ladder. Regardless of your position, you can often find someone to help you achieve your goals. The key is to observe and know who will help you. Don't accept your lot in life if you don't want to.
Tell us your favorite housekeeper in the comments section below.
Alaina Brandenburger is a freelance writer living in Denver.