Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sheila MacRae Passes On

Actress, singer, and dancer Sheila MacRae died on 6 March 2012 at the age of 92.

Sheila MacRae was born Sheila Stephens in London on 24 September 1921. In 1939 her family left England for Long Island, New York. It was in 1941 that she married actor and singer Gordon MacRae. The two of them would become a team, performing on stage and on television in the Fifties and Sixties. Mrs McRae made her film debut in the film Backfire in 1950 under her maiden name Sheila Stephens. The same year she appeared in Caged (1950) and Pretty Baby (1950).She went onto appear in the film Katie Did It (1951). She made her television debut in an episode of Hollywood Opening Night in 1953. In the Fifties she appeared on such shows as The Jackie Gleason Show, I Love Lucy (in the famous episode "Fashion Show"), Lux Video Theatre, The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Garry Moore Show, and Here's Hollywood.

In the Sixties she assumed the role of Alice Kramden in the "Honeymooners" sketches on The Jackie Gleason Show. She also appeared on such shows as The Red Skelton Show, The Bell Telephone Hour, Tonight Starring Jack Paar, To Tell The Truth, The Jack Paar Programme, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Ed Sullivan Show, The Sammy Davis Jr. Show, The Dean Martin Comedy Hour, The Trials of O'Brien, and What's My Line. She appeared in the films Bikini Beach (1964) and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965).  She appeared on Broadway in a revival of Guys and Dolls.

In the Seventies Sheila MacRae had her own short lived show, The Sheila MacRae Show, alongside her daughters Heather and Meredith. She also appeared on such shows as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Mike Douglas Show, The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast, and The Love Boat. She appeared on Broadway in Absurd Person Singular.

From the Eighties to the Nineties she appeared in the films as The Naked Cage (1986) and The Perils of P.K. (1986). She was a regular on the short-lived 1990-1991 show Parenthood. She also appeared on such shows as Search for Tomorrow, General Hospital, Vicki, and Murder, She Wrote.She toured with her own show, An Evening with Sheila MacRae.

Sheila MacRae was an extremely talented woman. She was a gifted singer and skilled in dancing as well. She was also a very good actress when it came to comedy. Her timing was perfect and she could deliver a line as well as any stand up comedian. Indeed, among her many skills was that of celebrity impressions. Sheila MacRae was one of those rare people with multiple talents. What is more, she was extraordinarily gifted in all of them. There should be little wonder, then,  that she appeared in so many media (stage, film, television).

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