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Pert Kelton Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (13)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 14 October 1907Great Falls, Montana, USA
Date of Death 30 October 1968Ridgewood, New Jersey, USA  (heart attack)
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Vaudevillain, Broadway player and, for one decade from 1929, screen actress often in comedic roles. She also appeared in character parts in a handful of 60s films. She is memorable as the original - and the most believable - Alice Kramden, wife of Ralph Kramden (immortalized by Jackie Gleason), in TV's "The Honeymooners." Kelton's performances took place (ca. 1950-52) when "Honeymooners" had yet to become an independent series but was merely a sporadically scheduled, 10- or 15-minute playlet during Gleason's weekly TV variety show. Although they may yet exist on kinescope only narrowly available, Kelton's wonderful performances as Alice are otherwise essentially lost.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bill Takacs <kinephile@aol.com>

Spouse (2)

[link=nm0068466] (? - 30 October 1968) (her death) (2 children)
Ralph Bell (? - ?) (2 children)

Trivia (13)

Was also the only actress in the history of "The Honeymooners" to play both Alice Kramden on Cavalcade of Stars (1949) and her mother in a 1967 musical episode originally aired on The Jackie Gleason Show (1966).
The role of Alice was played later (and, with syndicated reruns, observable nowadays by a much wider audience) by Audrey Meadows and then by Sheila MacRae.
Mother of actor Brian Bell, who died in 1981.
Also mother of Stephen Bell.
Blacklisted for many years by McCarthyism.
Scored possibly her greatest professional success as "Mrs. Paroo" in the Broadway production of "The Music Man" in 1958, a role she repeated in the screen version four years later: The Music Man (1962).
Lost the role of Alice Kramden on The Honeymooners due to blacklisting of her husband Ralph Bell, which by association affected her career as well. But the reason publicly given was that her health was poor.
Co-starred as Agnes on NBC Radio's "The Magnificent Montague" (1950-1951).
Most famous as Shirley Jones' mother in The Music Man (1962).
Although some think that she was nominated for a Tony Award for "The Music Man" on Broadway, she was not. She was, however, actually nominated for two Tonys: in 1960, as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Musical) for Greenwillow;" and in 1968, as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) for "Spofford." The confusion about "The Music Man" may stem from the "Greenwillow" nomination.
For years up to her death she and her family lived in the Township of Washington in Bergen County, New Jersey.
For many years portrayed a comical cleaning woman in a series of Spic 'n' Span TV commercials.
Though she created the role of Alice in the original "Honeymooners" sketches with Jackie Gleason, she returned in the late 60's to play Alice's mother.

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