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Old 02-17-2014, 10:41 PM   #1
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Unhappy Actress Mary Grace Canfield (Ralph Monroe) 1924-2014

The New York native also appeared, in movies and in the television shows 'Bewitched,' 'General Hospital' and 'The Love Boat.'

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Mary Grace Canfield, a character actress best known as part of the daffy Ralph-and-Alf brother-sister carpenter team on the TV comedy "Green Acres," died Saturday in a Santa Barbara hospice. She was 89.

The cause was lung cancer, her daughter Phoebe Alexiades said.

On "Green Acres," Canfield was Ralph Monroe, who, with her brother Alf, was perennially working on the bedroom of a city slicker couple (Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor) at their newly acquired farm near Hooterville. She was a down-home gal in bib overalls and a white painter's cap worn backward, a funny, plain-spoken woman doing "man's work" before feminism made the term quaint.

The show ran from 1965 to 1971. Looking back at it, Canfield had mixed feelings.

"To be remembered for Ralph kind of upsets me — only in the sense that it was so easy and undemanding," she said in a 2006 interview with the Bangor Daily News in Maine, where she lived for many years. "It's being known for something easy to do instead of something you worked hard to achieve."

Canfield also appeared on TV in "Bewitched," "General Hospital," "The Love Boat" and other shows. In a memorable 1963 episode of "The Andy Griffith Show," she was Gomer Pyle's blind date; the two socially awkward, lovable bumpkins defied everyone's expectations and had a wonderful time, jitterbugging.

Born in Rochester, N.Y., on Sept. 3, 1924, Canfield attended an acting school run by famed teacher Jason Deeter in Rose Valley, Pa.

"I didn't want to go to college because I knew exactly what I wanted to do," she said. "Later, when I asked my parents what they thought of this little skinny girl wanting to be an actress, they said they were so relieved that I wanted to do something.''

Canfield appeared in Broadway and off-Broadway plays before heading to Hollywood. Her early TV shows included "The Hathaways," a 1961-62 sitcom about a Los Angeles couple and their three performing chimps. Canfield played the housekeeper.

Her film work includes a role as the ironically named Angelica, a sourpuss upstairs maid in "Pollyanna" (1960). In "Something Wicked This Way Comes," a 1983 adaptation of a Ray Bradbury story, she plays a seventh-grade teacher whose world is shattered by a diabolical traveling circus.

Canfield lived in Montecito from 1968 to 1984 and then moved to Sedgwick, Maine. She had fallen in love with the state during summer stock productions there years before, her daughter said.

She relocated to Santa Barbara in 2011, when her health was declining.

Her first marriage, to Charles Carey, ended in divorce in 1955.

In addition to daughter Phoebe, Canfield is survived by John Bischof, her husband of 25 years; daughter Alison Carey; and three grandsons.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:28 AM   #2
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Love her as Ralph. I kind of wish she had stayed on as Harriett Kravitz but then we would have not had Ralph. She will be missed.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:49 AM   #3
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Well that's what made Green Acres so great; take something that could have easily been a one note joke and have a good actor give it their all. Will watch the "Alf and Ralph Break Up" episode in her honor.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:09 PM   #4
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With the exception of Tom Lester, all the primary cast members are gone now.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:49 PM   #5
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Unhappy

Mary Grace Canfield
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:36 AM   #6
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R.I.P. Mary Grace.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:27 AM   #7
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It's sad that another Green Acres cast member passed away. But I'll always remember Ralph's memorable line "Howdy Doody!"

May Mary Grace Canfield rest in peace.
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:18 AM   #8
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I love the episode where she's the blind date with Gomer Pyle. I feel like watching it right now in her memory.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisLittlePiggy
I love the episode where she's the blind date with Gomer Pyle. I feel like watching it right now in her memory.

Wasn't that an episode on The Andy Griffith Show?

RIP Ms Canfield
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:52 AM   #10
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She was a great actress RIP.
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Wasn't that an episode on The Andy Griffith Show?

RIP Ms Canfield
Yes, in Season 4 of TAGS called A Date for Gomer.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:52 PM   #12
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She was honest in her work for Green Acres. "The work seemed so easy and I felt guilty for was so easy" . Not many television performers would say that. Wow!!
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:25 AM   #13
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She was one of my favorites on Green Acres. I also liked her as Harriet Kravitz on Bewitched, and enjoyed seeing her in other shows. She turned up either in an Alfred Hitchcock or Thriller episode, as a secretary in a book company. I could swear I read that her son turned up as a student in class in one of the Hooterville High scenes. No mention of him in the opening post.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BachelorCat
She was one of my favorites on Green Acres. I also liked her as Harriet Kravitz on Bewitched, and enjoyed seeing her in other shows. She turned up either in an Alfred Hitchcock or Thriller episode, as a secretary in a book company. I could swear I read that her son turned up as a student in class in one of the Hooterville High scenes. No mention of him in the opening post.

I liked her too. She was such a cool, down to earth lady! I mentioned The Ziffels as my fav Green Acres characters, well Ralph Monroe (Mary Grace) is on the top of my list too. Remember how she mooned over Hank Kimble? And they ended up getting married in one epp. He was a very nervous, reluctant groom! Ended up it wasn't official, because Sam Drucker's justice of the Peace permit expired! ! It was a really funny epp!

I love your cat profile picture! I love cats . My father has a grey tabby that looks like that cat!

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Old 08-02-2014, 12:43 PM   #15
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Thanks bonniegirl62, his name's TomTiger, he adopted me in December '03. His striping was slightly more visible then, now he's mostly grey.

I remember a few of the Ralph/Hank things, they do make a cute couple! I believe it was a Thriller ep I saw Mary Grace in, the plot was that a man incorporated book titles and plots into his murderous hijinks. It was pretty much a comedy episode. Also, someone got hold of the Andy Griffith scene where she was dancing with Gomer, and substituted Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" for the music. It's no longer on YouTube.
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