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Actress Sheila MacRae passes away

Actress Sheila MacRae passes away

TRIBUTES have been paid to the actress and singer Sheila MacRae who has passed away at the age of 92.

Although born in England, Ms. MacRae spent her entire career in the United States where she first found TV fame in the mid-1960s appearing in The Honeymooners (see below) sketches on Jackie Gleason’s long-running show. She played the role of Alice Kramden, the wife of Gleason’s character Ralph.

Ms. MacRae had first worked with the comedian in the early 1950s when she made a brief appearance on his show. During that time she had been developing her acting career while also working with husband Gordon MacRae (who had appeared in musicals such as Oklahoma! and Carousel). The couple, who married in 1941, had formed a popular singing double act and regularly appeared in many of the country’s top nightclubs.

Most of her acting work in the 1950s was in television, although she appeared in the prison drama movie Caged  in 1950. During the 1960s, Ms. MacRae also found time, despite having a family of four, to appear on stage in a several musicals, including a production of Guys and Dolls on Broadway.

The marriage with MacRae ended in divorce, as did her second to the producer Ronald Wayne.

Ms. MacRae continued to make regular appearances on a range of TV shows over the years. She starred in a number of episodes of Parenthood (1990-1991) with her final TV credit coming in 1993 for a role in an episode of Murder, She Wrote.

Sheila MacRae passed away at The Lillian Booth Actors’ Home in Englewood, New Jersey. She was predeceased by two of her children — the actress Meredith MacRae, who died in 2000, and Bruce, who passed away in 2010.

To view an excerpt from an episode of The Honeymooners, click here.

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