Rae Allen, an actress best known for her roles in The Sopranos, All in the Family, and A League of Their Own, has passed away at the age of 95. According to reports, Allen died peacefully in her sleep in the early morning of Wednesday, April 6th. Born Rae Julia Theresa Abruzzo on July 23, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York, Allen was an accomplished actress of the stage and screen, as well as a director and singer. She trained at the HB Studio in New York City's Greenwich Village.
Allen originally thrived as a Broadway theatre actor, with her first onstage roles beginning in 1948. One of Allen's most notable roles was as Gloria in the original Broadway production of Damn Yankees, which earned her first Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress. She later portrayed Gloria in the 1958 film version of Damn Yankees, in what was her first onscreen role. Her song in the production, "Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo", is still played at games for the New York Yankees. She went on to be nominated for a Best Featured Actress Tony again for Traveller Without Luggage in 1967, and won the award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little in 1971. Her other Broadway productions included The Pajama Game, Oliver!, Fiddler on the Roof, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, and Dude.
In film and television, Allen's early roles include appearances on The Untouchables, Profiles in Courage, The Patty Duke Show, and Car 54, Where Are You?. She also had a stint playing Edith Bunker's cousin Amelia on All in the Family, and portraying Judge Betty Small on Soap. She also made guest appearances on The Greatest American Hero, Lou Grant, Remington Steele, Hill Street Blues, Head of the Class, and Seinfeld. She portrayed Lucy Fearing on the series The Fearing Mind, and was then cast as Aunt Quintina Blundetto on The Sopranos, a role she portrayed across five episodes.
Allen's later filmography included appearances on Joan of Arcadia, NYPD Blue, Grey's Anatomy, and Reign Over Me. Her last onscreen role was a two-episode stint on Vampire Mob.
Allen was married twice, first to John M. Allen, and later to politician Herbert Harris. She is survived by her nieces, Laura and Betty Cosgrove, as well as her adopted family, friends April Webster and Lisa Ann Gold. Memorial services as being planned in Allen's honor on both coasts.
Our thoughts are with Allen's family, friends, and fans at this time.