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MacRae in 1953.
|Born||Albert Gordon MacRae
March 12, 1921
East Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
|Died||January 24, 1986
Bryan Memorial Hospital, Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.
|Cause of death||cancer of the mouth and jaw and pneumonia|
Elizabeth Lamberti Schrafft
(m.1967-1986; his death)
Gordon MacRae (March 12, 1921 – January 24, 1986) was an American actor and singer, best known for his appearances in the film versions of two Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, Oklahoma! (1955) and Carousel (1956) and films with Doris Day like Starlift (1951), On Moonlight Bay (1951), By The Light of the Silvery Moon (1953).
Born in New Jersey, MacRae graduated from Deerfield Academy in 1940 and served as a navigator in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. Prior to this, he attended Nottingham High School in Syracuse, NY.
He made his Broadway debut in 1942, acquiring his first recording contract soon afterwards. Many of his hit recordings were made with Jo Stafford. It was in 1948 that he appeared in his first film, The Big Punch, a drama about boxing. He soon began an on-screen partnership with Doris Day and appeared with her in several films.
In 1951, he starred with Doris Day in On Moonlight Bay, followed by the sequel By the Light of the Silvery Moon in 1953. That same year, he also starred opposite Kathryn Grayson in the third film version of The Desert Song. This was followed by leading roles in two major films of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, Oklahoma! (1955) and Carousel (1956), both films opposite Shirley Jones.
MacRae appeared frequently on television, on such programs as The Martha Raye Show and The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford, both on NBC. On Christmas 1958, MacRae and Ford performed the Christmas hymn "O Holy Night". Earlier in 1958, MacRae guest starred on the short-lived NBC variety series, The Polly Bergen Show.
Thereafter, MacRae appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, and The Bell Telephone Hour. He continued his musical stage career, often performing with his wife, as in a 1964 production of Bells Are Ringing, also performing as Sky Masterson in the popular musical Guys and Dolls, his wife playing the role of Miss Adeleide, reprising her Broadway role. In the late 1960s he co-hosted for a week on The Mike Douglas Show. He also toured in summer stock and appeared in nightclubs. In 1967, he replaced Robert Preston in the original Broadway run of the musical I Do! I Do!, starring opposite Carol Lawrence, who had taken over the role from Mary Martin.
He was married to Sheila MacRae from 1941 until 1967; the couple were the parents of Heather MacRae and Meredith MacRae. He married Elizabeth Lamberti Schrafft on September 25, 1967, and they remained married until his death.
Gordon and Sheila MacRae also had two sons named Gordon (Gar) and Robert Bruce (Bruce).
In popular culture
- MacRae is mentioned in the song Oklahoma U.S.A. by The Kinks, as the song's subject daydreams of "riding in the surrey with the fringe on top" with "Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae.."
- The Big Punch (1948)
- Look for the Silver Lining (1949)
- Backfire (1950)
- The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady (1950)
- Return of the Frontiersman (1950)
- Tea for Two (1950)
- The West Point Story (1950)
- On Moonlight Bay (1951)
- Starlift (1951) (cameo)
- About Face (1952)
- By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953)
- The Desert Song (1953)
- Three Sailors and a Girl (1953)
- Oklahoma! (1955)
- Carousel (1956)
- The Best Things in Life Are Free (1956)
- Zero to Sixty (1978)
- The Pilot (1980)
- Junior Miss (1942) (Broadway) (replacement for Walter Collins)
- Three to Make Ready (1946) (Broadway)
- Carousel (1955) (Music Hall at Fair Park)
- Annie Get Your Gun (1960) (Kansas City)
- Guys and Dolls (1963) (Milwaukee)
- Jerome Kern's Theatre (1966) (Avery Fisher Hall)
- Kismet (1966) (Columbus, Ohio)
- I Do! I Do! (1967) (Broadway) (replacement for Robert Preston)
- Milk and Honey (1972) (Columbus, Ohio)
- Paint Your Wagon (1978) (Columbus, Ohio)
This is Gordon Macrae Capital Records
with Jo Stafford
- Gordon MacRae Dies: Star of Movie Musicals from The New York Times
- Gordon MacRae at Find a Grave
- ""O Holy Night," Tennessee Ernie Ford and Gordon MacRae". clevelandclassicmedia.blogspot.com. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
- at the Grady Gammage Auditorium in Phoenix, Arizona - theater in the round
- Milestones: Aug. 4, 1967 from Time magazine
- "Hollywood Mother of The Year - Sheila MacRae's Own Story" Sheila MacRae & H. Paul Jeffreys. Birch Lane Press, 1992.
- "Gordon MacRae: A Bio-Bibliography" - Bruce B. Leiby. Greenwood Press.1991.
I have Album cover "Gordon MacRae" 72438-19268-2-6 From; The Beautiful Music Conpany ..20 song on the album. Have picture but can't locate it on line. I borrowed this from the Public Library System.
- "Gordon MacRae"
- Gordon MacRae at the Internet Movie Database
- Gordon MacRae at the Internet Broadway Database
- Biography from Starpulse
- Gordon MacRae, That Old MacRae Magic by Frances Ingram from ClassicImages.com