For five years, Kathy Garver and Johnny Whitaker worked side by side on the 1960s sitcom “Family Affair.” She played his older sister on the series, and in the 50 years they’ve known each other, their TV family has been through many ups and downs. In that time, the show’s three other leading actors have passed away (one of a drug overdose, one of a stroke and one by suicide), leaving only Garver and Whitaker as surviving cast members.
As Garver was being interviewed for “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”, producers reached out to Whitaker and invited him to surprise Garver on camera. Though the two hadn’t spoken since the TV Land Awards nine years ago ― “Kathy got us to be the presenters,” Whitaker says ― he agreed.
In the above clip, Whitaker knocks on Garver’s door, and she is visibly stunned to see him. She invites Whitaker inside, where he wastes no time getting something off his chest.
“I’m here because I know that there might have been some bad blood between us,” he tells Garver. “[I] wanted to apologize if there was anything that I’ve done to cause you to have feelings.”
Though the media never seemed to pick up on any explicit “bad blood” between Whitaker and Garver, it’s clear that there has been one particular frustration at the source of Garver’s ill will. She spells it out clearly for Whitaker.
“If you had, at any time in all of the gigs that I set you up for, called me and said, ‘Thank you,’ that would have been very nice,” she says.
“Nothing was done to hurt you,” Whitaker says. “If it has hurt you, then I’m truly apologetic. I’m truly sorry.”
“I accept your apology,” she responds.
As for their future, Whitaker hopes for something positive for the two former co-stars. “I want us to be friends,” he says to Garver. “I want the future to be as positive as possible. Heck, we’ve got 50 years together.”
“Oprah: Where Are They Now?” airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.
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