Far left in front - The Russo Sisters - Joan and Lois
Robbie adjusting the microphone and at the far right is 4 year-old Rita Pascal
The Horn & Hardart's Children's Hour
Rita Pascal started her career at the age of three on the radio, then TV, on the Horn and Hardart's Children's Hour singing "The Hut Sut Song." Mrs. Esther Broza (an inductee into our Hall of Fame) loved her, so she stayed on for fifteen years, singing, dancing and acting.
During that time, she did many commercials and "voice overs" for Mounds Candies, Motts Apple Juice, Fleer Bubble Gum, Sylvan Seal Milk, and MAB Paints. She appeared on a weekly radio show, Radio Rangers and did some modeling. As she got older, she did local little theater and acted in summer stock at Westbury, Valley Forge and Westport with a group from The Society Hill Playhouse.
In 1955, Rita graduated from St. Leonard's Academy and started her freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania by getting the lead role of Emily in the Penn Players' production of "Our Town." That year, she also began a three year stint on "Carny the Clown Show" as Carny's sidekick, Miss Rita. She also appeared as "Miss Shower of Portables," a month long promo giving away portable TVs.
In 1963, when a new show, "Think Young" was looking for a young girl to appear with former Philadelphia Eagle, Pete Retzlaff, and up-and-coming symphony director, James De Priest, Rita was tapped for the role even though she was married and the mother of two babies. She also appeared on the Gene London Show. After having two more children, Rita felt it was time to hang up the tap shoes and devote her time to car-pooling and PTA meetings.
Rita is married to former Philadelphia Eagle, Joe Pagliei. She has four children, six grandchildren, one dog and two granddogs. She lives in Mt. Laurel, N.J.
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
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