Actress Joanna Cameron, Saturday Morning's "Secrets of Isis" Star, Dies at 70

Herbie J Pilato

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Joanna Cameron, center, with "Secrets of Isis" co-stars Joanna Pang, left, and Brian Cutler.The Classic TV Preservation Society

Actress Joanna Cameron, star of Saturday morning's classic 1970s TV series, The Secrets of Isis, has passed away on October 22, 2021. She was 70-years-old. Isis had a limited budget, but Cameron's charismatic performance elevated the scripts and gave heart to this high-concept show.

While attending college, Cameron befriended Linda Hope, daughter of Bob Hope, who eventually cast her in How To Commit Marriage in 1969. What followed was a succession of small and big screen roles throughout the '70s, including B.S. I Love You, and the darkly comedic Pretty Maids All In a Row. At one point, Cameron was allegedly considered for the lead in Love Story which instead went to Ali MacGraw.

Cameron's other performances included TV roles in The Bold Ones, Marcus Welby, M.D., McMillan & Wife, and The Amazing Spiderman. Cameron also appeared in the most recorded commercials of any actress, which led to her inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records.

In 1975, Cameron was cast as the title character in Isis, in which she played a young high-school science teacher named Andrea Thomas. While in Egypt, Thomas discovers an enchanted amulet, which gifts her with the powers of the goddess Isis.

The series aired in the era when superheroes were running rampant on TV in primetime and daytime, including The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk, the aforementioned Spiderman series, and Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (the latter, another Saturday morning entry). Twenty-two episodes of Isis were screened on CBS from September 6, 1975, to September 3, 1977, in rotation with another superhero show, Shazam!, an early take on Captain Marvel starring Billy Gray (not to be confused with the same-named actor of TV's Father Knows Best).

Cameron's last-known role was in the 1980 TV movie Swan Song.

Following her acting career, Cameron worked in the home healthcare industry as a nurse for 10 years, and followed that with a career in marketing for several hotels.

Actress Joanna Pang Atkins, who played Cindy Lee on The Secrets of Isis, that Cameron died due to complications from a stroke on October 22, 2021.

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Writer/producer Herbie J Pilato is the author of several books about pop culture including biographies of Mary Tyler Moore, and "Bewitched" star Elizabeth Montgomery. He also writes for Emmys.com, TVWriter.com, and is the host and an executive producer of "Then Again with Herbie J Pilato," a classic TV talk show.

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