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November 12, 2018

Allyn Ann McLerie, actress, dancer and widow of George Gaynes, dead at 91

May 28, 2018
Gaynes and McLerie were married in 1953 and had two children. He died in 2016. (Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

Allyn Ann McLerie, an actress who appeared in films like “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” and was married to actor George Gaynes, died May 21 at her home in North Bend, Wash., daughter Iya Falcone Brown wrote on Facebook. She was 91.

“Today my beautiful sweet Mom, Allyn Ann McLerie Gaynes, joined my Dad to continue their journey exploring the universe,” she wrote. “She, as he, will be missed and always loved. Reunited with my brother, Matthew, we wish these marry wanderers well on their new adventures together.”




The Canada-born, Brooklyn-bred McLerie left behind a lengthy resume that included stints across Broadway, Hollywood and the small screen.

She had a turn as Red Buttons’ marathon dance partner Shirl in Sydney Pollack’s critically acclaimed “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?,” and appeared in films like “All the President’s Men,” “The Way We Were” and “Cinderella Liberty.”

The star also originated the role of Amy Spettigue in Broadway’s “Where’s Charley?,” in the late 1940s, and later reprised the role for a film adaptation in 1952. She continued to make her mark on the Great White Way in shows like “Miss Liberty,” “West Side Story,” where she played Anita in the 1960 revival, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and “On the Town,” the Broadway debut of her ex-husband Adolph Green.

McLerie and the “Singin’ in the Rain” scribe were married for eight years before they called it quits in 1953, just before she wed Gaynes.

The star and her husband — who died at 98 in 2016 — appeared on screen together several times, including two 1985 episodes of his sitcom “Punky Brewster” where McLerie played his character’s love interest. Gaynes later joined his wife on the TV series “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd” for 17 episodes.

In addition to her role as the title character’s mother on “Molly Dodd,” McLerie also appeared in shows like “The Tony Randall Show,” “WKRP in Cincinnati,” “Simon & Simon,” St. Elsewhere,” “Knight Rider,” “The Love Boat,” “Bonanza” and “Barney Miller.”

She is survived by her daughter, Iya, granddaughter Niki and two great-granddaughters. She was predeceased by her husband George and son Matthew.




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