Did you grow up watching the hilarious sitcom The Honeymooners? It followed blue collar workers Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton who tried to hit it big.
The show was a success because it was relatable to so many ordinary Americans. But what made the show a huge hit amongst viewers its stellar cast members.
The Honeymooners Cast included actors and actresses who had successful careers in television and cinema. These cast members helped make one of the funniest and most influential shows in American television history.
Sadly, many of these great cast members have passed away. Let’s look back on their incredible careers and this great show… Join Facts Verse to know the details about How Each Honeymooners Cast Member Died.
Art Carney was born on November 4, 1918 in Mount Vernon, New York. He was the youngest of six sons and his father worked as a publicist.
Art Carney was drafted into the US Army and served as an infantryman and also served as a machine gun crewman during the Second World War. During the Battle of Normandy, he was injured by a shrapnel and walked with a limp for the remainder of his life.
He was awarded several medals for his valor during wartime, including the World War II Victory Medal. Upon returning to civilian life, he began a career working in radio.
He began his career as a comic singer with Horace Heidt’s orchestra. He would appear on the radio program Pot O’ Gold and then began his film career with an uncredited role in the film based on the radio show.
It was during this time that he also improved his comedic and mimicry skills. He continued his radio career and also began appearing on television regularly. He became especially popular on the radio and TV versions of The Morey Amsterdam Show.
It was during this time that Art Carney met comedian Jackie Gleason. The two of them worked well together and soon became a popular duo.
They made the perfect cast members for Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton for The Honeymooners. Art Carney’s role as Ed Norton became one of the most popular characters on television.
For his role as Ed Norton, Art Carney received 7 Emmy nominations and won 6! He continued to work in television after The Honeymooners – including in his own variety show The Art Carney Special.
In addition to television, he also released music recordings for Columbia Records. His most popular hits included Twas The Night Before Christmas and The Song of the Sewer.
Most of these songs were comical and many were aimed toward younger audiences. He also had a prolific career in cinema.
Art won an Oscar for his role as Harry in the 1974 road movie, Harry & Tonto. He also appeared in many other popular feature films including The Late Show, House Calls, Going in Style, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Firestarter, St. Helens, and Last Action Hero – which was his final film role.
On stage, he appeared in Broadway productions of The Odd Couple and Take Her, She’s Mine.
He died in his sleep at the age of 85 in 2003.
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Pert Kelton was born on October 14, 1907, in Great Falls, Montana. She came from a show business background – as both her parents were vaudeville performers.
She also had an aunt named Jane Kelton who was a famous stage actress during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Jane Kelton appeared in a play called Checkers in which she played a character named “Pert” – which is where Pert Kelton got her name.
Pert began her acting career at the age of 3 on stage with her parents in Cape Town, South Africa. She continued to appear with her parents on stage – touring together as “The 3 Keltons”
She had her first major role on stage in the musical comedy Sunny when she was 17 years old.
Her first film role came in her early 20s when she appeared as “Rosie” in the film Sally alongside Marilyn Miller. The film was based on a musical comedy written by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse.
She continued to act in major films including The Bowery, Bed of Roses, and Whispering Enemies. At this time, she also began to pursue work in radio and television.
Her stardom landed her the role of Alice Kramden in The Honeymooners. She played the doting wife to Ralph Kramden played by Jackie Gleason. This was the show that made her a household name in television.
Unfortunately for her, this role wouldn’t last. She eventually blacklisted by Hollywood. This was a phenomenon that caused many entertainers to stop receiving work either because they were Communists or Communist sympathizers.
She was replaced by Audrey Meadows. Years after the blacklist era, she reappeared in films such as The Music Man and Love and Kisses in the 1960s. She was also a part owner of a hotel called the Warner-Kelton Hotel. During this decade, she reunited with The Honeymooners – this time playing Alice’s mother!
She died of a heart attack in 1968, at the age of 61. Join Facts Verse to know the details about How Each Honeymooners Cast Member Died.
Once Pert Kelton was made to leave The Honeymooners, Audrey Meadows stepped in to take on the role of Alice Kramden.
Audrey Meadows was also from a show business family, with the actress Jayne Meadows being her elder sister.
She was born in 1922 in New York. She began her acting career as soon as she finished high school. Audrey appeared in the Broadway musical Top Banana. She soon became a regular on the variety show The Bob and Ray Show.
Upon receiving her role as Alice Kramden, she became a household name on television. In fact, she had originally auditioned for the show but initially rejected by Jackie Gleason. She then altered her appearance and mannerisms to better suit Alice Kramden. Jackie Gleason then changed his mind and Audrey’s portrayal of Alice became the favorite portrayal.
Outside of The Honeymooners she also appeared on TV shows such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Murder, She Wrote, Diff’rent Strokes, Uncle Buck, and The Red Skelton Show. She eventually retired from acting and had a an 11-year career as the Director of the First National Bank of Denver.
It’s clear, however, that she made to play Alice Kramden. She made sure to receive residuals from re-reruns of the show and in 1994, she published her memoir: Love, Alice: My Life as a Honeymooner.
With her role as Alice Kramden, Audrey Meadows was able to portray the typical American woman of the time. Her performance didn’t just entertain audiences, but it also resonated with them!
She died in 1996 due to complications from lung cancer. She was 73 years old. Join Facts Verse to know the details about How Each Honeymooners Cast Member Died.
The star of The Honeymooners was popular comedian Jackie Gleason. Gleason portrayed Ralph Kramden – a bus driver who wanted to make it big. His character resonated with the average Joe who wished to achieve The American Dream.
Jackie Gleason was born on February 26, 1916 in New York City. He grew up at 328 Chauncey – which would later became the address that Ralph and Alice Kramden would live in.
Jackie became interested in performing when he appeared in a school play. He dropped out of school and found a job as a Master of Ceremonies at a local theater.
Jackie later decided to try his luck at comedy. He began traveling around the country performing stand up comedy in nightclubs. He got his big break at New York’s Club 18 where he made a joke about the famous ice skater Sonja Henie. At this nightclub, insulting the patrons was part of the comedian’s act.
He spotted the skater, handed her an ice cube and stated “Okay, now do something!” It was on this fateful night that he was spotted by studio executive Jack Warner who decided that Jackie Gleason was destined for the big screen!
Gleason was now in his twenties and was appearing in feature films including Navy Blues, All Through the Night, and Springtime in the Rockies.
He began his television career in the late 1940s and eventually was given his own variety show The Jackie Gleason Show. It was on this show that he introduced audiences to the character of Ralph Kramden in a variety of sketches. The popularity of Ralph Kramden, his wife Alice and their friends led to the sitcom The Honeymooners.
Apart from his work in film, TV, the stage, and comedy, Jackie Gleason also released several songs. Throughout his career, he released over 50 albums – mostly for Capitol Records.
He managed to remain a prolific performer throughout his life. By the time he died, he was considered to be a national treasure. Today, he is remembered as an icon of American entertainment.
Jackie Gleason died at the age of 71 in 1987 due to complications from colon and liver cancer.
Joyce Randolph is the only surviving member from the main cast of The Honeymooners. She played Trixie Norton – who was Ed’s wife and Alice’s closest friend.
Joyce was born on October 21, 1924 in Detroit. She began her career on stage and then later graduated to bit parts on television shows.
She also appeared in a commercial for Clorets chewing gum. Jackie Gleason saw this commercial and asked her to appear in a skit for his variety show, Cavalcade of Stars. He was impressed by her talent and then she was soon cast as Trixie Norton in The Honeymooners.
Her performance as Trixie was so popular that many producers were reluctant to offer her roles, stating that audiences wouldn’t see her as anyone but Trixie. Her work following The Honeymooners was sporadic.
However, she embraced her role and even as recently as the 2000s she would meet fans of The Honeymooners to discuss the show, sign autographs, and take pictures.
Are you a fan of The Honeymooners?
Do you think that the show is still as popular today as it was when it was released?
Or do you feel younger audiences will feel that the show is dated?
We personally think it’s a classic!
Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.
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