MacRae in 1953.
|Born||Albert Gordon MacRae
March 12, 1921
East Orange, New Jersey, US
|Died||January 24, 1986
Bryan Memorial Hospital
|Cause of death||Mouth and jaw cancer and pneumonia|
|Resting place||Wyuka Cemetery, Lincoln, Nebraska|
|Alma mater||Nottingham High School
|Occupation||Actor/Singer, TV and radio show host/personality|
Elizabeth Lambert Schrafft
(m.1967–1986; his death)
|Children||5; including Heather MacRae
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 playing Bill Sherman in On Moonlight Bay (1951) and By The Light of the Silvery Moon (1953).
Born Albert Gordon MacRae in East Orange in Essex County in northeastern New Jersey, MacRae graduated in 1940 from Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, and he thereafter 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, New York.
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 1950, he starred with Doris Day in "Tea for Two" (a reworking of "No, No, Nanette"), then in 1951, he starred again with Doris Day in On Moonlight Bay, followed by the 1953 sequel By the Light of the Silvery Moon. 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.
On radio, he was the host and lead actor on The Railroad Hour, a half-hour anthology series made up of condensed versions of hit Broadway musicals. Many of those programs were recorded later in popular studio cast albums: most of these recordings have been reissued on CDs.
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, with 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 four children: actresses Heather and Meredith MacRae, and sons William Gordon MacRae and Robert Bruce MacRae. Two of the children, Meredith MacRae and Robert Bruce MacRae, predeceased their mother, Sheila.
Gordon MacRae was married, secondly, to Elizabeth Lambert Schrafft on September 25, 1967, and fathered one daughter, Amanda Mercedes MacRae in 1968. They remained married until his death. He was buried at the Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, Nebraska.
|1948||The Big Punch||Johnny Grant|
|1949||Look for the Silver Lining||Frank Carter|
|1950||The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady||Tony Pastor|
|1950||Return of the Frontiersman||Logan Barrett|
|1950||Tea for Two||Jimmy Smith|
|1950||The West Point Story||Tom Fletcher|
|1951||On Moonlight Bay||Bill Sherman|
|1952||About Face||Tony Williams|
|1953||By the Light of the Silvery Moon||Bill Sherman|
|1953||The Desert Song||El Khobar / Paul Bonnard|
|1953||Three Sailors and a Girl||"Choirboy" Jones|
|1956||The Best Things in Life Are Free||Buddy DeSylva|
|1978||Zero to Sixty||Officer Joe|
|1980||The Pilot||Joe Barnes|
|1951||The Screen Director||Himself|
|1952||Screen Snapshots: Fun in the Sun||Himself|
|1953||So You Want a Television Set||Himself (Cameo appearance)|
- 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)
- Bells Are Ringing (1961) (Columbus, Ohio)
- Guys and Dolls (1963) (summer stock tour)
- Bells Are Ringing (1964) (summer stock tour)
- Jerome Kern's Theatre (1966) (Avery Fisher Hall)
- Kismet (1966) (Columbus, Ohio)
- Oklahoma! (1967) (summer stock tour)
- I Do! I Do! (1967) (Broadway) (replacement for Robert Preston)
- Golden Rainbow (1969) (summer stock tour)
- Milk and Honey (1972) (Columbus, Ohio)
- Paint Your Wagon (1978) (Columbus, Ohio)
MacRae replaced Frank Sinatra on a radio program in 1943, but he soon had to leave for military service. In 1946, he was the "singing emcee" of The Teentimers Club, a Saturday morning program on NBC.
He also appeared in programs as shown in the table below.
|Stars in the Air||Christmas in Connecticut||March 20, 1952|||
|Lux Radio Theatre||On Moonlight Bay||May 5, 1952|||
This is Gordon Macrae Capitol Records
with Jo Stafford
|1947||"I Still Get Jealous"||25|
|"At the Candlelight Cafe"||20|
|"You Were Meant For Me"||22|
|"That Feathery Feeling"||27|
|"Hair of Gold Eyes of Blue"||7|
|"Say Something Sweet To Your Sweetheart"with Jo Stafford||10|
|"Bluebird of Happiness"with Jo Stafford||16|
|"My Darling, My Darling"with Jo Stafford||1|
|1949||"The Pussy Cat Song"with Jo Stafford||26|
|"So In Love"||20|
|"A You're Adorable"with Jo Stafford||4|
|"Need You"with Jo Stafford||7|
|"Younger Than Springtime"||30|
|"Whispering Hope"with Jo Stafford||4|
|"Dear Hearts and Gentle People"||19|
|"Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo"with Jo Stafford||13|
|"Echoes"with Jo Stafford||18|
|1950||"Dearie"with Jo Stafford||10|
|1953||"How Do You Speak To an Angel"||30|
|"Congratulations To Someone"||28|
|"Stranger In Paradise"||29|
|1954||"Face To Face"||30|
|1956||"I've Grown Accustomed To Your Face"||96|
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." He is also mentioned in the second episode of The Golden Palace.
- He is Godfather to Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy's son, Shaun Cassidy.
- Gordon MacRae Dies: Star of Movie Musicals from The New York Times
- Gordon MacRae at Find a Grave
- "From Page Boy To Emcee" (PDF). Radio-Vision. November 30, 1946. p. 6. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- The Railroad Hour Episode Log
- Gordon MacRae on CastAlbums.org
- ""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: August 4, 1967 from Time magazine
- Kirby, Walter (March 16, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 44. Retrieved May 23, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Kirby, Walter (May 4, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 50. Retrieved May 8, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Hollywood Mother of The Year – Sheila MacRae's Own Story, by Sheila MacRae & H. Paul Jeffreys. (Birch Lane Press, 1992) ISBN 978-1559721127
- Gordon MacRae: A Bio-Bibliography by Bruce B. Leiby. (Greenwood Press, 1991) ISBN 978-0313266331
- Appearance On What's My Line 9/30/62
- Gordon MacRae on NBCs "The Railroad Hour"
- Gordon MacRae Discography on CastAlbums.og
- Gordon MacRae Discography on PatFullerton.com
- Gordon MacRae Discography on Discog.com
- Gordon MacRae at the Internet Movie Database
- Gordon MacRae at the Internet Broadway Database
- Gordon MacRae on MusicBrainz.org
- Biography from Starpulse
- Gordon MacRae, "That Old MacRae Magic" by Frances Ingram