Sheila MacRae, an actress and singer best known for playing Alice Kramden in the ’60s version of The Honeymooners, died on Thursday. She was 92.
She died at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, N.J., her daughter Heather MacRae said of the star, who portrayed Alice from 1966-1970.
Alice, the long-suffering, tough-talking wife of Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason), became a fixture in the “Honeymooners” sketches on The Jackie Gleason Show.
For 26 years, MacRae was married to Gordon MacRae, a singer-actor best known for starring in the movie versions of musicals Oklahoma! and Carousel.
The MacRaes performed as a duo for nearly a decade in nightclubs, on TV and in concerts across the U.S., and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.
MacRae acted in a few movies and appeared on I Love Lucy and other shows, taking a break to have the couple’s first child before returning to perform.
She wrote in her 1992 memoir, “Hollywood Mother of the Year,” that his drinking and gambling was an issue but she wanted to stay close to keep an eye on him.
Her memoir was named for an award she received the year her marriage began falling apart, and in it, she made some surprising statements about their life.
During her husband’s woes, MacRae rebuffed overtures from suitors including Henry Fonda, Peter Sellers and Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Sheila McCrae turned down a marriage proposal from Frank Sinatra, she said.
As troubled as her marriage was, Ms. MacRae was reluctant to divorce.
“I would have had to take Gordy to court for divorce and spill all the secrets about his drinking and gambling,” she revealed much later in a 1992 interview.
The couple eventually separated in 1965 and divorced in 1967.
She wed Ronald Wayne the same year; they divorced in 1970.
Sheila MacRae is survived by two children, Heather and William, also known as Gar; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren; Mr. MacRae died in 1986.