Joyce Brothers, Jewish TV Psychologist and Advice Columnist, Dies at 85

Television Pioneer Dies Just Months After Dear Abby

Queen of Advice: Joyce Brothers, the Jewish television psychologist, was famous for winning ‘The $64,000 Question’ game show.
Queen of Advice: Joyce Brothers, the Jewish television psychologist, was famous for winning ‘The $64,000 Question’ game show.

By Reuters

Published May 13, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Psychologist Joyce Brothers, who parlayed her 1955 victory on the TV game show “The $64,000 Question” into a nearly six-decade career as a television personality and columnist, died on Monday, her publicist said. She was 85.

Brothers died of natural causes in New York, said Sanford Brokaw, her Los Angeles-based spokesman.

She began dispensing advice on television in 1958 and penned columns on topics such as sex, relationships and parenting until early this year.

At one point, Brothers’ syndicated column was published in more than 300 newspapers and she authored a monthly column in the women’s magazine Good Housekeeping.

Brothers, a forerunner of media-savvy psychologists such as Laura Schlessinger and Phil McGraw, was a fixture in American living rooms in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s with her own syndicated television programs on networks NBC and CBS and cameo appearances in films and TV series.

She famously poked fun at herself by analyzing the Fonz’s dog on the ABC television series “Happy Days.” Brothers also appeared on “The Love Boat,” animated comedy “The Simpsons” and most recently on the Hollywood comedy series “Entourage.”

Brothers was also a fixture on “The Tonight Show,” appearing alongside host Johnny Carson nearly 100 times.

Brothers vaulted to public recognition by winning “The $64,000 Question,” the most popular television game show of the era, and with her prodigious knowledge of boxing. She followed up her win with another on the spin-off game show “The $64,000 Challenge.”

She also successfully parried questions from Congress during investigations into a game-show cheating scandal, showing her original mastery of boxing information.

Brothers is thought to be the sport’s first female commentator and her first media contract was interviewing boxers for radio broadcasts.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.