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(Credit: Alan Light)

Film

Mary Alice, veteran actress and Tony winner, dies

The Emmy and Tony-winning actor Mary Alice, known for her roles in Fences, has died. It was confirmed by NYPD that Alice died of natural causes while she was at her home in New York City.

In her glittering career, the demure star won a Tony in 1987 for her role in the original Broadway Production of Fences. She followed this up with an Emmy in 1991 for her Outstanding Supporting Actress appearance in I’ll Fly Away.

She made her transition from stage to screen back in 1974 when she starred in the TV movie The Sty of the Blind Pig before landing bigger roles in Police Woman, Sanford and Son, and Good Times

Prior to her acting career, Alice spent several years as a school teacher in Chicago before a love of performance and Broadway finally encouraged her to move to New York City to pursue her dreams. Therein, she became a firm favourite amongst the thespian community. 

Albeit she has a breadth of screen credits, it was her stage work which drew the most plaudits, and her most iconic was as Rose Maxson in Fences. Viola Davis who would later go on to reprise the same role, commented: “RIP Mary Alice…the original Rose Maxson. You were one of the greatest actresses of all time!! Thank you for the work, inspiration and thank you for Rose. Godspeed Queen.”

Similar tributes have poured in from many other stars who remember her not only as a remarkable performer, but a benevolent force amid the acting community. 

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