Sheila MacRae dies; ‘Honeymooners’ actress

March 8

Sheila MacRae, an actress who starred on the Broadway stage and in films and who was best known for playing Alice Kramden alongside Jackie Gleason in the 1960s re-creation of “The Honeymooners,” died March 6 at an actors’ retirement home in Englewood, N.J. She was 92.

Her granddaughter, Allison Mullavey, confirmed the death to the Associated Press. Ms. MacRae had dementia and had been hospitalized for a minor surgical procedure.

In the 1950s version of “The Honeymooners,” Audrey Meadows starred with Gleason as lovebirds and sparring partners Ralph and Alice Kramden. Ms. MacRae replaced Meadows as the tolerant and brassy wife of Gleason’s character, a Brooklyn bus driver, in a later version on “The Jackie Gleason Show.” Ms. MacRae was the last survivor from the ’60s edition of the show. Jane Kean, who played Trixie Norton, died last fall.

A singer, dancer and actress, Ms. MacRae was married to “Oklahoma!” and “Carousel” star Gordon MacRae for 26 years, and they appeared together in 1964 on “The Ed Sullivan Show” when the Beatles were featured.

She had put her career on hold while she devoted herself to her husband and their four children, her daughter Heather MacRae said. After helping her husband with his nightclub act, she decided to join him and her career took off, her daughter said. The couple appeared together in musicals including “Guys and Dolls,” with Ms. MacRae taking her performance as Miss Adelaide to Broadway in 1965.


Sheila MacRae, seen here in 2004, was a singer and actress on Broadway and in films. But she was best known for playing Alice Kramden alongside Jackie Gleason in the 1960s recreation of “The Honeymooners.” (Mathew Imaging/FILMMAGIC VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS)

After her divorce from Gordon MacRae in 1967, she was married to Ronald Wayne, who produced Gleason’s show. They later divorced.

Ms. MacRae played the role of Madelyn Richmond on the TV soap opera “General Hospital” and was the host of “The Sheila MacRae Show.”

A native of London, Ms. MacRae immigrated to America with her parents during World War II.

Survivors include two children, Heather MacRae and William “Gar” MacRae; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A daughter, Meredith MacRae, died in 2000; a son, Robert MacRae, died in 2010.

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