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Pert Kelton (1907-1968)

 

  1. Audrey Meadows, The Honeymooners, TV, 1955-1956.   From 1951 to 1952, Kelton was Jackie Gleason’s wife  in a series of sketches on his variety series Cavalcade of Stars. When the skits became a fullblown sitcom, Gleason was still bus driver, Ralph Kramden, but his sharp-tongued missus, Alice, became Meadows. Fair enough. It happens. Except, CBS said Kelton had a bad heart condition when the disgusting truth was that she was blacklisted as a suspected  Communist! Or,  at least, her announcer-actor husband Ralph Bell was and, therefore, his wife  by association (with her husband!). To his credit, Gleason fought for her to remain on the show...  She was denied  work for eight years and then carried on acting until her death  in TV and  films. She was, for example, Shirley Jones’ mother in The Music Man, 1961… and played her own mother in a special musical Honeymooners in The Jackie Gleason Show, in 1967.

Awaiting photo

Pert Kelton was Alice Kramden in Jackie Gleason’s sketches but Audrey Meadows  won the Gleason series              [© CBS Photo Archive]





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