6 ‘Did You Know?’ Stories About Pregnancies in Movies and TV

From 'Gone With the Wind' to 'Juno'

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The recent arrival of a new royal — the welcome end to Kate Middleton’s seemingly eternal pregnancy — reminded us of some interesting stories about expectant moms (real and fake) portrayed in movies and TV shows.


Scarlett O'Hara / Gone with the Wind

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Scarlett O’Hara is pregnant more times in the novel Gone with the Wind than she is in the movie version

In the 1939 film classic, Scarlett, played so memorably by Vivien Leigh, is pregnant twice — with Rhett Butler as the father. (They have a daughter, Bonnie Blue, but their second child dies in the womb after Scarlett falls down some stairs.) In the book, author Margaret Mitchell imagines Scarlett carrying two more times, producing a child for both of her other husbands, Charles and Frank.


Lucille Ball In 'I Love Lucy'

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Lucille Ball timed the birth of her second child to coincide with the airing of an episode of her hit TV series  

Lucille Ball’s real-life pregnancy was woven into the storyline in the second season of I Love Lucy  — though it was another series (Mary Kay and Johnny) that depicted TV’s first on-screen pregnancy. Ball gave birth, by cesarean section, to Desi Arnaz Jr on January 19, 1953 — 12 hours before the episode in which she gives birth on the show (filmed in November) aired.

Rosemary's Baby

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In Rosemary’s Baby, director Roman Polanski had a “pregnant” Mia Farrow walk across a busy New York City street

A scene in the movie shows a dazed Rosemary Woodhouse walking, through traffic, across Manhattan’s Park Avenue. Farrow later recalled how Polanski convinced her to shoot the unrehearsed bit of footage: “’Nobody will hit a pregnant woman,’ he laughed, referring to my padded stomach. He had to operate the hand-held camera himself, since nobody else would. I took a deep breath – an almost giddy, euphoric feeling came over me. Together Roman and I marched right in front of the oncoming cars – with Roman on the far side, so I would have been hit first.”


The Cosby Show

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Producers of The Cosby Show went to great lengths to hide Phylicia Rashad’s pregnancy during the series’ third season

They did everything from having her suffer from a “pinched nerve,” which let them shoot her in bed (with a hole cut in the mattress) to obstructing her bump behind desks and kitchen counters — even a giant stuffed teddy bear.
Other actresses whose real-life pregnancies were hidden or explained away (with varying levels of effectiveness) include: Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan on How I Met Your Mother,  Julia Louis-Dreyfus (twice!) on Seinfeld, Sarah Jessica Parker on Sex and the City, Janet Leeves (Daphne putting on a lot of stress-related weight) on FrasierDebra Messing in Will and Grace — and two soon-to-be moms who played women of God: Roma Downey in Touched by an Angel and Sally Field in The Flying Nun



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Both Shelly Long and Rhea Perlman were pregnant during production of the third season of Cheers — but only Perlman’s pregnancy was revealed in the show

While having Carla Tortelli with child made for terrific comedic possibilities, Diane Chambers, Long’s character, was a single woman (with decidedly mixed feelings for bartender Sam Malone) — so the actress’ condition was disguised the entire season.


Juno Poster

Fox Searchlight

Months after the release of the acclaimed comedy-drama Juno, TIME wrote of a so-called “Juno Effect”

The magazine wrote of 17 pregnant students (under 16 years of age) at a Massachusetts high school — and the pregnancy of Bristol Palin, the 17-year-old daughter of VP candidate Sarah Palin — as possibly being linked to the glamorization of pregnancy in movies like Juno and Knocked Up.