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Rae Allen, the veteran performer best known for The Sopranos, All in the Family and both the play and film adaptation of Damn Yankees, has died. She was 95.
The actor’s representative Kyle Fritz confirmed Allen’s death to The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, sharing the following statement: “I had the pleasure of representing Rae Allen for over 20 years. She [was] one the most gifted actresses I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I will be forever grateful to have been a part of her incredible journey.”
Allen was born in Brooklyn in 1926 and studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village. She was also an alumna of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts class of 1947.
In 1958, Allen began her screen acting career in the Oscar-nominated musical comedy Damn Yankees, playing reporter Gloria Thorpe — a role she had portrayed in the 1955 original Broadway production. Allen followed up with roles on such TV series as The Untouchables and Profiles in Courage before hitting the big screen again in Arthur Miller’s The Tiger Makes Out, Carl Reiner’s Where’s Poppa? and Milos Forman’s Taking Off.
In the ’80s, Allen starred as Judge Betty Small in the primetime series Soap, a parody of daytime soap operas. She went on to appear as Ma Keller in Penny Marshall’s 1992 sports comedy feature A League of Their Own, as Barbara Shore in Stargate and as Lucy Fearing on the adventure series The Fearing Mind. Allen also played Mrs. Sokol on Seinfeld.
In 2004, she took on the character of Aunt Quintina Blundetto in The Sopranos. Later credits included NYPD Blue and Grey’s Anatomy.
Allen’s additional Broadway credits included And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little, for which she won the 1971 Tony Award for best actress, Oliver!, Fiddler on the Roof and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. She received two other Tony nominations for her performances in Damn Yankees and Traveller Without Luggage.
Among Allen’s last credits was Mike Binder’s drama Reign Over Me with Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle and the comedy series Vampire Mob.
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