Sheila MacRae, "Honeymooners" and Stage Actress, Dies at 93

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11 Mar 2014

Sheila MacRae
Sheila MacRae
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Sheila MacRae, a U.K.-born actress best known for playing Alice Kramden in the late 1960s iteration of the sitcom "The Honeymooners," titled "The Jackie Gleason Show," died March 6 at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, NJ. She was 93.

Ms. MacRae played Alice opposite Jackie Gleason and Art Carney in "The Honeymooners" from 1966 to 1970. Later, she starred in a short-lived show of her own, called "The Sheila MacRae Show," and then played Madelyn Richmond on the long-running soap opera "General Hospital."

Sheila Margaret Stephens was born in London Sept. 24, 1921. She and her parents evacuated to the U.S. in 1939, before the beginning of World War II. In America she met and married stage actor Gordon MacRae, who would go on to star in numerous Broadway and Hollywood musicals. Ms. MacRae herself played Miss Adelaide in a 1965 production of Guys and Dolls. A decade later, she acted on Broadway in the farce Absurd Person Singular.

The MacRaes divorced in 1967. Mr. MacRae died in 1986. She is survived by her daughter Heather, also an actress, known for her Broadway turns in Falsettos and Coastal Disturbances. Three other children, William, Meredith and Robert MacRae, predeceased her. Meredith was an actress as well and one of the stars of the 1960s sitcom "Petticoat Junction."



Ms. MacRae's career included an interesting show-business footlight. The same night she and her husband performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1964, a young Liverpool rock outfit called The Beatles made their American television debut.