Rochester, New York, USA
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Mary Grace Canfield
Mary Grace Canfield (September 3, 1924 – February 15, 2014) was an American theatre, film and television actress.
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Mary Grace Canfield (September 3, 1924 – February 15, 2014) was an American actress who often played the role of a romance-starved spinster/wallflower.
Early life and career
Mary Grace Canfield was born in Rochester, New York, the second child of Hubert and Hildegard (née Jacobson) Canfield. She grew up in Pittsford, New York. Her sister Constance was two years older.
Acting mostly in small theater companies and regional theatre, between 1952 and 1964 she appeared in several Broadway plays, although most ran for no more than a month. Her Broadway credits include The Waltz of the Toreadors and The Frogs of Spring.
Canfield's first credited performance on television was in March 1954, when she portrayed Frances in the episode "Native Dancer" on Goodyear Playhouse. After making additional television appearances, she played a housekeeper, Amanda Allison, in the ABC sitcom The Hathaways during the 1961-62 season.
As Thelma Lou's "plain" cousin in an episode of CBS's The Andy Griffith Show, she had an arranged blind date with Gomer Pyle, played by Jim Nabors. Her name on that episode was her actual name, Mary Grace.
Canfield gained her most notoriety in her recurring role on the hit CBS comedy series, Green Acres. She played Ralph Monroe, the all-thumbs carpenter who greeted her fellow Hootervillians with her signature, "Howdie Doodie!" She appeared in over 40 episodes of the show during its six-season run from 1965 to 1971.
She reprised the role in the 1990 TV movie Return to Green Acres. Recalling the Ralph character in a 2006 interview, she stated, "To be remembered for Ralph kind of upsets me — only in the sense that it was so easy and undemanding." She added, "It's being known for something easy to do instead of something you worked hard to achieve."
She guest starred on the NBC medical drama The Eleventh Hour. In 1966, Canfield played Abner Kravitz's sister, Harriet, on three episodes of Bewitched in the interval between the death from ovarian cancer of actress Alice Pearce, who played Abner's wife, Gladys Kravitz, before the hiring of Pearce's successor, Sandra Gould, in the role of Mrs. Kravitz. During the early 1970s, Canfield and actress Lucille Wall shared the role of nurse Lucille March (Audrey's sister) on General Hospital.
She appeared in films including Pollyanna, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre and Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Later life and death
In the early 2000s, she appeared on stage in her local New England theatre productions.
Canfield made her last public appearance in 2005, when she attended Eddie Albert's funeral along with Green Acres co-stars Sid Melton and Frank Cady (Sam Drucker).
Canfield, aged 89, died of lung cancer on February 15, 2014, in Santa Barbara, California.
Place of Death
Santa Barbara, California, USA
Cause of Death
Hildegard Jacobson Canfield
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