Rae Allen
Rae Julia Abruzzo

(1926-07-03)July 3, 1926
DiedApril 6, 2022(2022-04-06) (aged 95)
EducationHB Studio
American Academy of Dramatic Arts
New York University (MFA)
Years active1941−2011[1]
John M. Allen

Rae Julia Theresa Abruzzo (July 3, 1926 – April 6, 2022), professionally known as Rae Allen, was an American actress of stage, film and television. Her career spanned some seventy years and eight decades.[1][2]

Rae started her career in theatre in 1941 in a production of Gilbert and Sullivan and made her debut on Broadway in 1948, moving to television and film roles in 1958, making her screen debut in Damn Yankees. She appeared in numerous guest roles in TV shows, but she was best known of recurring parts in sitcom All in the Family (1972-1973) and in The Sopranos. Her film roles included A League of Their Own (1992) and Stargate.[1]

Early and personal life

Allen was born as Rae Julia Theresa Abruzzo in Brooklyn, New York City on July 3, 1926,[3] to Julia (née Riccio), a seamstress and hairdresser and Joseph Abruzzo, an opera singer and chauffeur, whose brothers acted in vaudeville.[4]

At the age of 25, she played Buttercup in H.M.S. Pinafore.[5] Rae Allen trained at the HB Studio[6] in New York City's Greenwich Village. She graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1947.[2] She was first married to John M. Allen and then divorced; and later married and divorced, politician Herbert Harris.[4]

Rae Allen died in her sleep on April 6, 2022, at the age of 95 at the Motion Picture & Television Fund retirement community in Woodland Hills, CA. She is survived by her four nieces: Nadine (McCann), Laura, Deborah, and Betty Cosgrove. [4][2]


Allen won the Tony Award, for Best Featured Actress in a Play for And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little, she had two prior Tony nominations, including one for Best Featured Actress in Damn Yankees in 1955 and for the same category in Traveller Without Luggage in 1967. She appeared in the original Broadway production of Damn Yankees as the nosy reporter Gloria and recreated the role in the film adaptation, in both of which she introduced the song "Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo."[2]

Film and television

Allen appeared in such films as Reign Over Me, A League of Their Own, Stargate, and Where's Poppa?[2] On television, she appeared on two consecutive episodes of Seinfeld as unemployment counselor Lenore Sokol, who must deal with George Costanza, who tries to get her to approve an extension of his benefits by dating her homely daughter, who ends up rejecting him.[2] She also made appearances on television shows such as The Patty Duke Show, Hill Street Blues, All in the Family, Car 54 Where Are You, Head of the Class, Remington Steele, The Sopranos, and Grey's Anatomy.[2]

Broadway theatre

Selected roles


Film and television

Title Year Role
Damn Yankees (film) 1958 Gloria Thorpe[2]
The Untouchables (TV series) 1962 Sarro's Daughter (guest role) episode: The Economist
Car 54, Where Are You? (TV series) 1963 Miss Thelma Eisenberg (uncredited) guest role in Episode: Joan Crawford Didn't Didn't Say No
Profiles in Courage (TV series) 1964 Miss Darvon (guest role, episode: Mary S. McDowell
The Patty Duke Show (TV series) 1964 Miss McClintock (guest, episode: Can Do Patty)
The Tiger Makes Out (film) 1967 Beverly
Where's Poppa? (film) 1970 Gladys Hocheiser
Taking Off (film) 1971 Mrs. Divito
All in the Family (TV series) 1972−1973 Amelia/Amelia DeKuyper[2]
Acts of Love and Other Comedies (TV film) 1973 Jeffreys' Wife
Madigan_(TV_series) (TV series) 1973 Verna Bennerman
Medical Center (TV series) 1973 Rose
CBS Daytime 90 (TV series) 1974 Dommy (episode: Legacy of Fear)[2]
Ace (TV movie) 1976 Gloria Ross
Phyl & Mikhy (TV series) 1980 Gwyn
Soap (TV series) 1980 Judge Betty Small
The Greatest American Hero (TV series) 1981 Edith Morabito
Lou Grant (TV series) 1982 Helen Paterson
Remington Steele (TV series) 1982 Kay Letrell (episode: Steele Water Run Deep)
Hill Street Blues 1982 Gloria Currie episode: Little Boil Blue
Scarecrow and Mrs. King (TV series) 1984 Sergeant Magovich
Faerie Tale Theatre (TV series) 1986 Aladdin's Mother[2]
Moving (film) 1988 Dr. Phyllis Ames
Far Out Man (film) 1990 Holly
Equal Justice (TV series) 1990 Judge Cythia Russell
Head of the Class (TV series) 1990 Sofia
She Said No (TV film) 1990 Judge Gordon
Keeping Secrets (TV film) 1991 unknown
Face of A Stranger (TV film) 1991 Ruthie
Seinfeld (TV series) 1992 Mrs. Sokol
A League of Their Own (film) 1992 Ma Kellor
Brooklyn Bridge (TV series) 1993 Cousin Ruth
Calendar Girl (film) 1993 Mrs. McDonald
Angie (film) 1994 Aunt Violetta
Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills (TV film) 1994 Female Judge
Stargate (film) 1994 Barbara Shore, PhD
Hudson Street (TV series) 1995 Fran Canetti
L.A. Doctors (TV Series) 1998 Mildred Cattano
The Fearing Mind (TV series) 2000−2001 Lucy Fearing
Providence (TV series) 2002 Dr. Hallstrom
Borderline (TV film) 2002 Dr. Alma Burke
The 4th Tenor (film) 2002 Italian Lady
The Sopranos (TV series) 2004 Aunt Quintina Blundetto
Joan of Arcadia (TV series) 2004 Fortune Teller God
NYPD Blue (TV series) 2004 Bertha Kunitz
Love for Rent (film) 2005 Gwen
Grey's Anatomy (TV series) 2006 Ruth
The Hard Easy (film) 2006 Freddie
Reign Over Me (film) 2007 Adell Modell
The Meant to Be's (TV film) 2008 Eleanor Roosevelt[2]
How to Be a Better American (TV film) 2010 Ruth
Vampire Mob (TV series) 2011 Carlina Grigiono


  1. ^ a b c Sandomir, Richard (April 8, 2022). "Rae Allen, Tony Winner and TV Mainstay, Dies at 95". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Tapp, Tom (April 6, 2022). "Rae Allen Dies: Tony Award-Winning 'Damn Yankees', 'Sopranos', 'All In The Family' Actress Was 95". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 8, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  3. ^ Benjamin, Ruth; Rosenblatt, Arthur (2006). Who Sang what on Broadway, 1866–1996: The singers (A–K). McFarland. p. 15. ISBN 9780786421893. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  4. ^ a b c Sandomir, Richard (April 8, 2022). "Rae Allen, Tony Winner and TV Mainstay, Dies at 95". The New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  5. ^ Sandomir, Richard (April 8, 2022). "Rae Allen, Tony Winner and TV Mainstay, Dies at 95". The New York Times.
  6. ^ HB Studio alumni, hbstudio.org. Accessed April 7, 2022.