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I Married Dora
I Married Dora

I Married Dora is an American sitcom that aired on ABC from September 22, 1987 to January 8, 1988. It was created by Michael J. Leeson.


Los Angeles architect and single father Peter Farrell (Daniel Hugh Kelly) was dependent upon his housekeeper Dora Calderon (Elizabeth Peña). However, she was an illegal alien from El Salvador and the United States government's Immigration and Naturalization Service was about to deport her. To prevent her from being arrested upon her return home, and to be able to continue to employ her services as a housekeeper, the two married. As marriages under false pretenses were (and still are) violations of federal law, the first episode included a disclaimer notifying viewers of this fact and adding, "You should not try this in your own home."

Two important aspects of the stories were the threat of their sham marriage being discovered by authorities and the possibility that they might fall in love, normalizing and legitimizing their marriage. Farrell's children were 13-year-old Kate (Juliette Lewis) and 11-year-old Will (Jason Horst).

The opening titles and closing credits were filmed, but the episodes themselves were shot on videotape.

The show had low ratings and was canceled halfway into its only season. The final episode ended with a scene, known as "breaking the fourth wall," that ranked number 49 on TVLand's list of The 100 Most Unexpected TV Moments. Peter received a two-year job offer in Bahrain and the final scene featured him boarding a plane headed overseas, leaving Dora and his children behind despite their pleas. A few moments later, Peter reappeared:

The cameras pulled back to show the entire stage as the cast and crew waved goodbye and performed curtain calls.


Episode list

Award nominations

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