Joan Davis was an American comedic actress whose career spanned vaudeville, film, radio and television. Remembered best for the 1952–55 television comedy, I Married Joan, Davis had a successful earlier career as a B-movie actress and a leading star of 1940s radio comedy.
Born as Madonna Josephine Davis in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Davis was a performer since childhood. She appeared with her husband Si Wills in vaudeville.
Her first film was a short subject for Educational Pictures called Way Up Thar, featuring a then-unknown Roy Rogers. Educational’s distribution company, Twentieth Century-Fox, signed Davis for feature films. Tall and lanky, with a comically flat speaking voice, she became known as one of the few female physical clowns of her time. Perhaps best known for her co-starring turn with Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in Hold That Ghost, she had a reputation for flawless physical comedy. Her pantomime sequence in Beautiful but Broke was a slapstick construction-site episode.
She co-starred with Eddie Cantor in two features, Show Business and If You Knew Susie. Cantor and Davis were very close offscreen as well.