Sheila MacRae (24 September 1921 – 6 March 2014) was an English-born American actress, singer and dancer.
MacRae appeared in such films as Caged (1950), Backfire (1950) and Sex and the Single Girl (1964). On television, MacRae played herself in an episode of I Love Lucy, “The Fashion Show” in which she asks Lucy to participate in a Hollywood fashion show organized by Don Loper and featuring actors’ wives as models.
Between 1966 and 1970 MacRae played Alice Kramden on 52 episodes of The Jackie Gleason Show, taking over the role from Audrey Meadows. She went on to have her own short-lived television series (The Sheila MacRae Show), and to play “Madelyn Richmond” on the long-running soap opera General Hospital.
Sheila Margaret Stephens was born in London in 1921, but evacuated with her parents to Long Island, New York in 1939, shortly before the onset of World War II.
She married actor and singer Gordon MacRae in 1941; the couple divorced in 1967. They often appeared on the stage together, in musicals such as Bells Are Ringing (in a 1964 production), and Guys and Dolls (as Miss Adelaide, a character that she took to Broadway in the 1965 revival). They were the parents of two daughters, actresses Heather and Meredith MacRae, and two sons, William Gordon MacRae and Robert Bruce MacRae. Two of Sheila’s four children, Meredith and Robert, predeceased her. MacRae became a naturalized United States citizen on 20 March 1959, in California.
MacRae, a devout Christian Scientist, died suddenly on 6 March 2014, in Englewood, New Jersey, aged 92, at the Lillian Booth Actor’s Home. She had suffered from dementia, but was otherwise in good health and had been hospitalized for a minor surgical procedure, when her death came suddenly from natural causes, said her daughter, Heather.
- September, 24, 1921
- United Kingdom
- March, 06, 2014
- United States
- New Jersey