Pixanne – Philadelphia, PA

Pixanne was a pretty pixie character (played by Jane Norman) who dressed in a Lincoln green costume with cap and feather and lived in a magic forest on the children’s program PIXANNE/CBS/1960-1969. The name “Pixanne” was a combination of “pixie” and “Anne.”

pennsylvania-philadelphia-pixanne

Pixanne’s character was inspired by J. M. Barrie’s perennial youth Peter Pan. According to Jane Norman, “I loved Broadway shows and always wanted to play Peter Pan so I designed a version of Peter’s costume and I made myself look like a pixie.” The program opened with Pixanne flying with the help of a harness and invisible wire like the Mary Martin Broadway production of Peter Pan.

The PIXANNE program originated in Philadelphia on WCAU-TV Channel 10 and aired from 1960 to 1969. Eventually, the show moved to weekday mornings at WNEW Ch. 5 in New York City and ran from September 22, 1969 until August 21, 1970. The program was nationally syndicated in the 1970s.

pennsylvania-philadelphia-pixanne-record

The program featured live-action, songs, stories, and visitors that Pixanne magically transported from the real world to her magic forest domain.

One of the visitors to the Magic Forest was a fireman. Unfortunately, the fireman put a hoop on fire during a demonstration and but he couldn’t put the fire out despite repeated tries with a fire extinguisher.

In regards to her creative input on the program, Jane recalled, “I probably created 10 stories a week and composed ten songs a week, with no help. I don’t even know if I wrote half of them down.”

The Addis Williams puppets appeared regularly on the show (Oggie the Owl, Flippy Butterfly, Herkimer, Tearesa, Galumpagus, Dandylion) as well as characters like Windy the Witch (Norman in a witch costume) and the evil Captain Hook (played by the show’s resident magician Jack Adams).

At the end of the show, Pixanne sang this song:

I’ll see you in the forest
And I’ll meet you in the forest
Come to the forest with me
Where things are always happening
There’s plenty of things to see
So don’t go far away
Come back, come back every day
Back into the forest with me

NOTE: Before her Pixanne gig, Jane Norman was accomplished piano prodigy, summer-stock actress, and songwriter for children. Jane was born in the East Oak Lane section of Philadelphia. She minored in radio and TV at Temple University and was a kindergarten teacher when she pitched her idea for the PIXANNE show to WCAU-TV. When her series was canceled, Norman purchased the rights to 114 videotaped episodes of PIXANNE and placed them into syndication.

In recent years, Norman has given up personal appearances as Pixanne to start a singing career. Jane has recorded several record albums. A showcase of her vocal talents can be found in her CD of romantic ballads entitled “Madly in Love.” Jane also wrote a best-selling book, “The Private Life of the American Teenager,” and marketed a line of children’s toys, including “Tickety Ted Time for Bed.”

Philadelphia TV show hosts like Pixanne, Sally Starr and Captain Noah were the inspiration for a successful off-Broadway play called “Music from a Sparkling Planet” about three women in their 30s who search for Tamara Tomorrow, the host of an afternoon sci-fi kids television show of their youth.

PIXANNE was the first show to do remote programming, taping at the 1967 World Expo in Montreal, Canada, and close to home at Linvilla Orchards in Middletown Township.

When pregnant with her son, Richard, Norman invented a magic cape for Pixanne to wear to disguise the fact she was in a family way. She also played up her Windy the Witch character (also played by Norman) who wore a long loose costume.

Pixanne (aka, “Jane Norman”)
c/o WCAU-TV
Philadelphia, PA

Excerpt from Pixanne Show (Video)
Jane Norman Official Site (Website)
Jane Norman (Facebook)

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About

Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Television
One comment on “Pixanne – Philadelphia, PA
  1. Joyce says:

    This wonderful, positive show was my favorite from the 1960’s. I have been searching for the full closing song from Pixanne, ( I’ll See You in the Forest…), preferably sung by Jane Norman. The best I could find so far was an 11 second clip.

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