Before Martha Stewart there was Sue Ann Nivens, "The Happy Homemaker" at fictional Minneapolis TV station WJM. She made her debut during the first episode of the fourth season of the Mary Tyler Moore Show on Sept. 15, 1973. As portrayed by the beloved Betty White, Sue Ann was sweet as sugar on the air, but a rather wanton, man-crazed woman off-camera. She enjoyed zinging Mary and Murray - and ached for Mr. Grant.
Sue Ann's character had broad audience appeal, but gay men were especially drawn to her because her biting wit and sense of style were prized traits in our social circles. Some 20 years later Martha became the reincarnation of Sue Ann but on a much grander, well beyond the borders of the Twin Cities.