‘General Hospital’ and ‘Gomer Pyle, USMC’ Actress Elizabeth MacRae Dies at Age 88

Television access Elizabeth MacRae, who came to prominence for her roles on classic shows such as “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” and “General Hospital,” died Monday.

The actress, who was raised in North Carolina, passed away in her hometown of Fayetteville at the age of 88, according to multiple entertainment news outlets.

Throughout a decades-long career that eventually saw her leave the South for New York City and later Hollywood, MacRae appeared as a character actor in some of early TV’s most popular shows.

Her first acting credit came in 1958, when she played the role of a witness on the CBS courtroom drama “The Verdict Is Yours.”

She also notched appearances on shows such as “Maverick,” “Bonanza” and “The Untouchables” before landing a recurring role in “Gunsmoke.”


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In 1966, MacRae was cast as Lou-Ann Poovie, the girlfriend to Jim Nabors’ Gomer Pile in the CBS Marine Corps comedy — a spinoff of “The Andy Griffith Show,” in which she also appeared.

Have you seen any of Elizabeth MacRae’s movies or shows?

Later in her career, MacRae found success starring in soap operas such as “General Hospital,” “Days of Our Lives,” “Guiding Light,” “Search for Tomorrow” and “Another World.”

MacRae also appeared in a number of films, including 1963’s “For Love or Money” and 1974’s “The Conversation” from director Francis Ford Coppola.

After leaving Hollywood behind, she and her husband Charles Halsey eventually moved back to New York City in 1989 and later permanently relocated to North Carolina.

MacRae worked as a certified counselor for people who were battling drug and alcohol addiction, work which those who knew her said was very important to her.

According to Fayetteville regional news outlet City View, MacRae gave her final theatrical public performance in 2002 at the city’s Cape Fear Regional Theatre in a production of “Picnic.”

She died peacefully at a long-term care facility in Fayetteville on Monday.


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Her nephew Jim MacRae fondly remembered her during an interview with City View.

“She had a wonderful life,” Jim MacRae said of his famed aunt. “She was bright and articulate. She was still getting fan mail at Highland House.”

Mayon Weeks, who inducted the actress into Fayetteville’s Performing Arts Hall of Fame last year, remembered MacRae as a valued member of the community.

“I can tell you that when she and her husband returned to Fayetteville, they were both a joy to be around,” Weeks said.

Weeks concluded, “Elizabeth had the ‘X factor’ that is an important part of being a performer. She did ‘light up the room’ when she was present.”

MacRae died just eight weeks after her husband Charles, whom she married in 1969 and who passed away on March 29.

“When Charles died, she went down quick,” her nephew Jim MacRae told City View. “The last few years were rough, but she is with my dad, who she adored, her father and mother, sister and husband. She lived a good life.”

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