Allyn Ann McLerie

Allyn Ann McLerie (December 1, 1926 May 21, 2018) was a Canadian-born, Brooklyn-reared actress, singer, and dancer who worked with many Golden Age musical theatre's major choreographers, including George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, and Jerome Robbins.[1][2]

Allyn Ann McLerie
McLerie on The Tony Randall Show (1977)
Born(1926-12-01)December 1, 1926
DiedMay 21, 2018(2018-05-21) (aged 91)
OccupationActress, singer, dancer
Years active1943–1993
Spouse(s)
Adolph Green
(m. 1945; div. 1953)

George Gaynes
(m. 1953; died 2016)
Children2

Life and career

McLerie was born in Grand-Mère, Quebec, Canada, the only child of Vera Alma MacTaggart (née Stewart; 1897-1980) and Allan Gordon McLerie, an aviator (1888-1926).[3][4] She moved with her widowed mother to the United States at age one. (McLerie's mother, Vera, died on her daughter's 54th birthday in 1980 at age 83.[5]) Allyn studied dancing at a studio in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and made her Broadway debut as a teenager in Kurt Weill's One Touch of Venus.[2][3][6]

She went on to replace Sono Osato as Ivy in On the Town,[7] then played Amy Spettigue in the 1948 Broadway production of Where's Charley? (Theatre World Award).[1][8]

A life member of The Actors Studio,[9] McLerie's other Broadway credits include Miss Liberty,[10][11] the drama Time Limit, Redhead (understudying Gwen Verdon), and West Side Story. McLerie danced as a guest soloist with American Ballet Theatre during its 1950-51 European and South American tour.

Perhaps some of McLerie's better-known film appearances are as Amy in Where's Charley? (1952),[8] Katie Brown in Calamity Jane (1953), Shirley in They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) and as The Crazy Woman in Jeremiah Johnson (1972). Other film work includes Phantom of the Rue Morgue (1954), The Cowboys (1972), The Way We Were (1973), Cinderella Liberty (1973), All the President's Men (1976), and TV movies such as Born Innocent (1974) and Death Scream (1975).[12]

She enjoyed a long career as a character actress on television, making frequent guest appearances on shows such as Bonanza, The Waltons, The Love Boat, Barney Miller, Benson, Hart to Hart, St. Elsewhere, and Dynasty, among many others.[13] She played Miss Janet Reubner, Tony Randall's dour and priggish secretary, on The Tony Randall Show (1976–78).[10]

McLerie played the recurring role of Arthur Carlson's wife Carmen on WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–82). She appeared in three episodes of Punky Brewster alongside her husband, George Gaynes (1984). She may be best remembered as Florence Bickford, the title character's mother on The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd (1987–91). Her last role was on an episode of Brooklyn Bridge in 1993.[13]

Personal life

McLerie was married to the lyricist/librettist Adolph Green[14] from 1945 until their divorce in May 1953. She was also married to actor George Gaynes from 1953 until his death in 2016.[15] The couple had two children,[16] Matt Gaynes (1959–1989) and Iya Gaynes Falcone Brown.[17][18]

McLerie died at her home in North Bend, Washington, on May 21, 2018, at the age of 91, from Alzheimer's disease.[19][20]

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1948Words and MusicSinger in Garrick GaeitiesUncredited
1952Where's Charley?Amy Spettigue
1952The Desert SongAzuri
1953Calamity JaneKatie Brown
1954Phantom of the Rue MorgueYvonne
1955Battle CryRuby - Waitress in Diner
196240 Pounds of TroubleBlanchard's secretaryUncredited
1969They Shoot Horses, Don't They?Shirl
1969The ReiversAlison
1970Monte WalshMary Eagle
1972The CowboysEllen Price
1972Jeremiah JohnsonCrazy Woman
1972The Magnificent Seven RideMrs. Donavan
1973HowzerFaye Carsell
1973The Way We WereRhea Edwards
1973Cinderella LibertyMiss Watkins
1974France société anonymeL'Américaine
1974Born InnocentEmma LaskoTV movie
1975Death ScreamAlice WhitmoreTV movie
1976All the President's MenCarolyn Abbott
1983Living Proof: The Hank Williams, Jr. StoryAudrey WilliamsTV movie
1994Police Academy: Mission to MoscowIrina PetrovskayaUncredited, (final film role)

References

  1. Amanda Vaill (May 6, 2008). Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins. Broadway Books. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-7679-0421-6. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  2. Stanley Green (March 21, 1980). Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre. DaCapo Press. p. 325. ISBN 978-0-306-80113-6. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  3. Theatre world. Crown Publishers. 1957. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  4. Profile, filmreference.com; accessed May 20, 2015.
  5. Marc Leroux. "Second Lieutenant Allan Gordon McLerie". Canadiangreatwarproject.com. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  6. Profile, bklyn.newspapers.com; accessed May 20, 2015.
  7. Stanley Green (March 21, 1980). Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre. Da Capo Press. p. 322. ISBN 978-0-306-80113-6. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  8. Thomas S. Hischak (2008). The Oxford companion to the American musical: theatre, film, and television. Oxford University Press US. pp. 791–. ISBN 978-0-19-533533-0. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  9. Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 279. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.
  10. Hal Erickson (June 15, 2009). Encyclopedia of television law shows: factual and fictional series about judges, lawyers and the courtroom, 1948-2008. McFarland. pp. 260–. ISBN 978-0-7864-3828-0. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  11. Steven Bach (April 30, 2002). Dazzler: The Life and Times of Moss Hart. Da Capo Press. pp. 293–. ISBN 978-0-306-81135-7. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  12. Thomas S. Hischak (2008). The Oxford companion to the American musical: theatre, film, and television. Oxford University Press US. pp. 864–. ISBN 978-0-19-533533-0. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  13. Allyn Ann McLerie on IMDb
  14. Amanda Vaill (May 6, 2008). Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins. Broadway Books. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-7679-0421-6. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  15. McFadden, Robert D. "George Gaynes, a Versatile Character Actor, Dies at 98". The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  16. Variety Staff (February 16, 2016). "George Gaynes, 'Punky Brewster' and 'Police Academy' Star, Dies at 98". Variety. Archived from the original on February 24, 2016. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  17. "Allyn Ann McLerie | Nantucket '73". Msbhall.wordpress.com. 2014-02-28. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  18. "Allyn Ann McLerie Actor George Gaynes' Wife". DailyEntertainmentNews.com. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  19. Szabo, Sarah. "Actors we lost in 2018". Looper.com.
  20. Allyn Ann McLerie, Actress in 'Where's Charley?' and 'They Shoot Horses, Don't They?' Dies at 91, hollywoodreporter.com; accessed January 20, 2019.
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