Sheila MacRae of ‘The Honeymooners’ Dies at 92By: Jasmine Allen - March 8, 2014
Actress and singer Sheila MacRae of the 1960s recreated version, The Honeymooners, died Thursday at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, N.J. She was 92 years old.
According to the New York Times, the actress was a featured performer in the sketches, which aired on CBS’ The Jackie Gleason Show.
MacRae was best known for her staring role as Alice Kramden, the wife of Brooklyn bus driver Ralph Kramden, which was portrayed by Gleason.
Actress Audrey Meadows was previously Gleason’s co-star in the 1950s version of the show, but MacRae replaced her as the leading lady from 1966 to 1970.
MacRae was originally born in London, but she and her family immigrated to New York during World War II.
As a singer, dancer, and actress, MacRae’s entertainment career evolved from Broadway plays to television acting.
She starred in a number of movies and TV shows like I Love Lucy and General Hospital.
However, the majority of her life involves her 26-year marriage to singer and actor Gordon MacRae, who was best known for his staring roles in the Oklahoma! and Carousel musicals.
They became quite the duo as far as acting and their little ones followed:
- The 1961 cast of Annie Get Your Gun featured their four children, Meredith, Heather, William, and Robert.
- In 1964, the couple appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show together, the same night the Beatles performed.
- Her 1965 portrayal of Miss Adelaide in the Broadway play Guys and Dolls also comprised of her husband being there with her on stage.
A video of Gordon and his daughter singing together:
Although MacRae was hesitant to divorce Gordon, they eventually separated in 1965 and the divorce became final in 1967. Within the same year she re-married to Ronald Wayne, the producer of Gleason’s show.
Yet another marriage ended in divorce, but it didn’t stop MacRae from moving forward in her acting career.
MacRae returned back to Broadway soon there after and landed character roles in Absurd Person Singular and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
Her daughter Meredith and son Robert preceded her in death. She has left behind her remaining two children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
“She had a great life, my mom, she really did,” her daughter Heather told People. “She was quite a broad.”
A YouTube video in memory of MacRae:
Image via YouTube