Broadway's Leading Ladies Go Commercial, Part 1: Florence Henderson, Ethel Merman, Carol Channing and More in Ads from 1950s-70s

Sit in front of a television set long enough, and you'll probably see a familiar Broadway face or two — and not just on your regularly scheduled programs, but in the commercials, too. In fact, there have been so many commercials featuring stars of the Great White Way over the years that we've decided to spend a few weeks looking back at some of our favorites. In part one, we take a look at ads starring Broadway's leading ladies that aired from the 1950s through the 1970s. Look out for Ethel Merman selling Vel with a familiar Jule Styne tune, Florence Henderson in an Oldsmobile ad inspired by a song from The Music Man and even Carol Channing in an ad for Atari.

Florence Henderson for Oldsmobile

Carol Burnett for Pledge

Florence Henderson for Oldsmobile

Lauren Bacall for Instant Maxwell House

Charlotte Rae for Oil Heat

Bernadette Peters for Playtex

Jan Miner for Palmolive

Charlotte Rae for Charmin

Sandy Duncan for Lestoil

Pearl Bailey for JELL-O

Sandy Duncan for Skinny Dip

Ethel Merman for Texaco

Ethel Merman for Vel

Carol Channing for Atari

Carol Channing for American Express