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Audrey Meadows Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (26)  | Personal Quotes (5)  | Salary (1)

Overview (5)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA  (lung cancer)
Birth NameAudrey Meadows Cotter
Nickname Aud
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Audrey Meadows was born in New York City as Audrey Cotter, the youngest of four children. After she was born, her family returned to Wu'chang, China, where they worked as missionaries. Her family returned to the US and settled in New England when Audrey was age 6, and she and sister Jayne Meadows attended an all-girls boarding school. After high school, Jayne went to NYC with the goal of becoming an actress and finally convinced her little sister to join her in show business, but as a singer instead of an actress. Audrey spent months working on the Broadway show "Top Banana" and then got a job on The Bob & Ray Show (1951). She then replaced Pert Kelton as the most famous and best-loved "Alice Kramden" of The Honeymooners (1955). After "The Honeymooners" ended, she went on to do films, such as Take Her, She's Mine (1963) and That Touch of Mink (1962), and even portrayed Ted Knight's mother-in-law in the 1980s sitcom Too Close for Comfort (1980). But her heart--and ours--will forever remain in that two-burner-stove Chauncey Street kitchen.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ashley Phipps <LavernShrl@aol.com>

Spouse (2)

Robert Logan Forman Six (24 August 1961 - 6 October 1986) ( his death)
Randolph Rouse (26 May 1956 - 1958) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (3)

Red hair
Gravelly voice
New England accent

Trivia (26)

Best remembered for her continuing role as Alice Kramden, wife of Ralph Kramden (played by Jackie Gleason), in TV's The Honeymooners (1955). (The same role had been played earlier by Pert Kelton, and later by Sheila MacRae.).
Younger sister of actress Jayne Meadows.
In one sense, Audrey and her agent were smarter than the usually visionary Jackie Gleason. Audrey was the only one of the Honeymooners cast whose contract required payments to her for TV reruns and sales of the episodes.
Her father, Rev. Francis James Meadows Cotter, was an Episcopal priest and mother, Ida, was a missionary.
Was a chain smoker.
Debuted at Carnegie Hall as a mezzo-soprano.
She and sister Jayne Meadows had nicknames for each other when they were little. Audrey was Sara and Jayne was Elinor.
Played field hockey in school.
Late husband, Bob Six, was CEO of Continental Airlines and was once married to Ethel Merman.
Brother-in-law was the late Steve Allen.
The youngest of four children.
Both Audrey and Jayne Meadows competed against members of the William F. Buckley family in local talent shows. In 1944, three of Buckley's sisters were accused of vandalizing the church where Audrey and Jayne's father was rector.
Audrey and Joyce Randolph (who played neighbor Trixie in the Honeymooners sketches) knew each other before the classic TV show. They once worked together in a summer stock production of "No, No, Nanette".
Became the first woman director of the First National Bank of Denver in post-acting years.
When she first auditioned for the part of Alice Kramden, Jackie Gleason turned her down because, he said, she was too pretty to be believable as Ralph's wife. Determined to get the part, she hired a photographer to take pictures of her with frumpy clothes, no makeup and a generally world-weary attitude and sent them to Gleason. Gleason, not recognizing the woman in the photo as Audrey, told his producers that she was "Alice" and to find her. When he found out it was indeed Audrey, he said that any actress that determined to get the part deserved it, and he hired her.
One of her character's many famous quips to Jackie Gleason's "Ralph Kramden" was when Ralph said that he was waiting for his "pot of gold": "Go for the gold, Ralph, you've already got the pot!".
She lived in China for the first five years of her life because her parents were missionaries there. Until her family moved back to the US, Audrey spoke nothing but Chinese. Her family was visiting New York City when she was born.
She returned once to The Honeymooners (1955) in 1966 for the last black-and-white sketch, entitled "The Adoption", which was broadcast in Miami.
Jackie Gleason was short and had a Napoleon complex, so he hired short actors to work with. One of the few exceptions was Audrey, who was 5'6" but wore flats.
Biography in: "American National Biography". Supplement 1, pp. 401-403. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Although not a comedienne by nature, Audrey appeared with many of Hollywood's top comic royalty during her "Golden Age of TV" years, including Red Skelton, George Gobel, Jack Benny, Sid Caesar, and Carol Burnett.
She was the first The Simpsons (1989) guest star to have passed away. Ironically she played an old woman at an old folks home who died and came back as a ghost.
Her father was Francis Meadows Cotter, an Episcopal missionary. Her mother's name was Ida Miller Taylor.
A Republican, she publicly endorsed Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan for president.
She was the live action model for the cartoon character Wilma Flintstone.
Meadows was portrayed by Kristen Dalton in "Gleason", a 2002 television biopic about the life of her "Honeymooners" co-star Jackie Gleason.

Personal Quotes (5)

You as you are are better by far than the you that you are trying to be.
[on Jackie Gleason and The Honeymooners (1955)] He did not like to rehearse. I kept saying to Art [Art Carney] 'When do we do the blocking?' And he said, 'You just did it'. I said, 'Well, are they going to do a camera run?' He said, 'You just did it'. I said, 'Well, what time is dress rehearsal?' And he said, 'You just did it'. I was in a state of panic. So I got through that first show and then I got to love the fact of not rehearsing, because it's much better for comedy when it's not over-rehearsed.
I've always voted Republican because America is exactly that, a republic. You can't expect much leadership with a Democrat behind the desk their not even close to dual efficient.
[on Jackie Gleason] He was divine to work with, an absolute genius. I've never been in a show that had the chemistry of everybody together like that. We were all very close.
My father was an Episcopal minister, and for 14 years my family lived in China, in a city called Wuchang. We four children spoke Chinese before we spoke English. We left when the communists came, in the early 1930s. I was about 5 years old.

Salary (1)

The Jackie Gleason Show (1952) $750 /week

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