Formidable American character actress Reta Shaw was the daughter of a New England orchestra leader. Educated in virtually all forms of the arts except acting, Shaw took a series of musical and "civilian" jobs before appearing in her first play, the 1946 dud It Takes Two. She went on to character roles in such major Broadway musicals as Annie Get Your Gun and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Shaw was one of the few members of the original Broadway cast of Picnic to be invited to appear in the 1956 film version. The hefty Ms. Shaw was subsequently shown to good advantage as a pajama factory employee in the 1957 film musical The Pajama Game (again repeating her stage role), and in dozens of smaller but still showy roles, such as Mrs. Brill the maid in 1964's Mary Poppins. From 1968 through 1970, Reta Shaw was seen on a weekly basis as housekeeper Martha Grant on the TV sitcom version of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.