Sally Otis

Photo of Andrea King as Sally Otis in "The Man I Love." Warner Bros., 1947.

Andrea King as Sally Otis in “The Man I Love.” Warner Bros., 1947.

Sally Otis in “The Man I Love” is one of the millions of unsung heroes in the world. She is part of America’s workforce, and as such is perhaps Andrea’s least glamorous and most underappreciated role. Yet, in Andrea’s words, she was proud to play her and worked very hard on Sally and the film.

Sally earns her living as a waitress at a local diner, coming home each night to care for her young son, as well as look after her own younger brother, sister, and their associated family members. Her ailing husband, a recent World War II veteran, is recovering from a mental breakdown in a hospital, and there’s no word when or if he might be coming home.

On a side note, one fascinating bit of Hollywood trivia …

As the waitress Sally in “The Man I Love,” Andrea wears the very same uniform that Joan Crawford wore just a year earlier in her Oscar-winning performance as “Mildred Pierce.” Warner Bros. recycled garments from time to time, and there’s no mistaking this iconic frock. The costume was acquired by Debbie Reynolds as part of her vast collection, and she auctioned it off in June of 2011. This uniform sold for a staggering $22,500!

Joan Crawford's waitress uniform from "Mildred Pierce" (1945), worn by Andrea King as Sally Otis in "The Man I Love" (1947).

Joan Crawford’s waitress uniform from “Mildred Pierce” (1945), worn by Andrea King as Sally Otis in “The Man I Love” (1947).

Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce. Warner Bros., 1945.

Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce. Warner Bros., 1945.

Andrea King as Sally Otis in "The Man I Love." Warner Bros., 1947.

Andrea King as Sally Otis in “The Man I Love.” Warner Bros., 1947.

Image of waitress costume from "Mildred Pierce" (1945) and "The Man I Love" (1947).

One pricey waitress costume.