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'Your pet, Juliette' revisited

"Now let's meet, and greet, your pet... Ju-u-uliette!" She was one of the CBC's first bona fide stars, a glamorous yet wholesome hostess who sang standards and show tunes to viewers every Saturday night. From 1956 to 1966, Juliette greeted Canadians live on The Juliette Show after Hockey Night in Canada. Always attired in a party dress, she signed off each week with the words "Good night, Mom."

After the cancellation of her show, Juliette continued to sing in CBC specials and perform in nightclubs before appreciative audiences. In this 1980 television clip, Juliette discusses her debut at the Hotel Vancouver at age 13 and admits to a few regrets in her career. If she could do it all over again, she says, she'd stay in the background: "Once you've been front and centre, it hurts when you're no longer there."

• Juliette Augustina Sysak was born in Winnipeg in 1927 and raised in Vancouver, where she had her own show on CBC radio by age 15. In 1954 she and her husband, Tony Cavazzi, moved to Toronto so she could pursue a career in television. She found work as a vocalist on The Billy O'Connor Show in 1955 and soon took over the same time slot with Juliette.
• Since her show -- and all CBC television in the 1950s -- was in black and white, Juliette took care to tell viewers the colour of her dress.

The Juliette Show rated among the top ten for Canadian television productions upon its cancellation in 1966. However, this was partly due to its lead-in, Hockey Night in Canada.
• On June 11, 1966 the Toronto Star said Juliette was the "first major victim of a radical new CBC audience rating system," adding: "While Juliette, Canada's most popular and enduring performer, continued to pull in one of the largest TV audiences in the country, the CBC's new rating system indicated disaffection."

• In 1974 Juliette came back to CBC with Juliette and Friends, a half-hour afternoon talk show during which she often performed a song.
• Juliette was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1975. That same year she moved back to Vancouver, and made it her home.
• In 1999 Juliette was given a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto.

 

Medium: Television
Program: The Bob McLean Show
Broadcast Date: May 13, 1980
Guest(s): Juliette Cavazzi
Host: Bob McLean
Duration: 3:37

Last updated: April 18, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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