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‘Green Acres’ Actress Mary Grace Canfield Dies at 89

Mary Grace Canfield - P 2014
Courtesy of Everett Collection
Mary Grace Canfield (left) with Eva Gabor on “Green Acres”

She played the inept handywoman Ralph Monroe on the 1960s CBS sitcom.

Mary Grace Canfield, a veteran comic character actress who played handywoman Ralph Monroe on the CBS sitcom Green Acres, has died. She was 89.

Her daughter, Phoebe Alexiades, told the Associated Press that Canfield died of lung cancer on Saturday at a hospice in Santa Barbara.

Canfield appeared as the overall-wearing tomboy Ralph on 41 episodes of Green Acres, the fish-out-of-water comedy that starred Eva Gabor and Eddie Albert as rich city folks who move to the country. The show aired from September 1965 until April 1971.

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Her character went by the name of Ralph, said Sid Melton, who portrayed her brother on the show, because no one would ever hire a handyman who was a woman. The pair’s work was disastrous.

Monroe always greeted folks in the town of Hooterville with a cheery “Howdy doody.”

Earlier in her career, Canfield had a blind date with Jim Nabors as Gomer Pyle on a 1963 episode of CBS' The Andy Griffith Show and played snooping neighbor Harriet Kravitz on four episodes of the 1960s ABC series Bewitched. She also appeared on such shows as Hazel, The Hathaways, Family and General Hospital.

A native of Rochester, N.Y., Canfield had small roles in such films as Pollyanna (1960), The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967), Half a House (1975) and Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983).

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