A B.C. senior has achieved internet fame thanks to a video recorded at CBC’s Vancouver studios more than 65 years ago.
Ninety-year-old Kathy Brady says she’s pleasantly surprised that a cooking segment filmed in 1957 for a TV pilot — in which she tells viewers all about a “popular Italian dish” known as “pizza pie” — has found a new audience.
“Pizza pie is becoming very popular, especially down in the States,” says Brady, dressed in a cardigan, in the clip.
“There are some restaurants that even specialize in it. These are called pizzerias. Saturday night as you drive down, you can see cars lined up for miles waiting for their pizza.”
Brady first became aware of the video’s re-emergence through her daughter-in-law Debbie Butt, who saw the black-and-white video pop up in her social media feed.
“I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, that’s my mother-in-law,'” Butt said.
Butt posted about it on social media and found she started getting queries about Brady and the story behind the video.
“It was super fun,” Butt said. “Grandma comes over every Sunday night for dinner, so I couldn’t wait to tell her.”
Watch the original 1957 clip of Brady preparing pizza:
Brady told BC Today‘s Michelle Eliot that some commenters have focused on her accent and unique pronunciation of words like “oregano” and “pizzeria,” which Butt says have become something of an inside joke among family members.
“It seems to me that I have a bit of an accent, but I don’t really have an accent,” Brady said with a laugh. “I don’t know how that got into it.”
Brady graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1954 as a dietitian through its home economics program, which included a course on cooking demonstrations. One of her professors recommended her to CBC for a TV pilot.
She says the idea for preparing pizza was hers.
“[Pizza] was just sort of coming to the fore when I was going to university,” she said. “People were talking about it and going to make it at home because you couldn’t buy it in the store or a restaurant. And so I just thought it was quite unique and it would be an interesting topic.”
Her 1957 pizza recipe included a base consisting of “a biscuit or a yeast dough,” topped with a tangy tomato sauce, oregano and “nippy cheese,” which Brady describes as “a strong cheddar.”
Following her brief TV appearance, Brady had a 30-year career as a dietitian, mostly in hospitals and through her own private practice.
Butt says she admires how her mother-in-law managed to balance career and family.
“I think that’s really admirable in that time,” Butt said. “It’s hard to do it now and it was even harder to do it then.”
She says she’s grateful the video has given her the chance to share her mother-in-law’s story with others.
“I love the opportunity to see her shine,” Butt said.