Rae Allen, ‘Sopranos’ and ‘All In The Family’ Actress, Dead at 95

by Leanne Stahulak
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Tony-Award-winning actress Rae Allen, who featured in “The Sopranos,” “All In The Family,” and “A League of Their Own,” is dead at 95.

Deadline reports that Rae Allen died peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, April 6. Her representative, Kyle Fritz, also released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter about her passing.

“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,” Fritz said in the statement.

Allen’s acting career spanned 55 years or so, including stints on the theatrical stage, the silver screen, and the small screen.

The Life and Legacy of Rae Allen

Rae Allen was the professional stage name for Rae Julia Theresa Abruzzo, who was born in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23, 1926. She graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1947 and got her start in acting on the Broadway stage the next year.

She first starred in “Where’s Charley?” in 1948, but Rae Allen’s big break came in 1955. She played Gloria, a nosy reporter, in the Broadway play “Damn Yankees” that year, earning a Tony nomination. While she didn’t win in 1955, Allen was nominated in 1967 as well for “Traveler Without Luggage” and for “And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little” in 1971. Allen finally snagged the Best Featured Actress in a Play Tony Award for that 1971 role.

But “Damn Yankees” also launched Allen’s film career. The play was adapted for the big screen in 1958, so she recreated her stage role as Gloria for the film.

From there, Rae Allen jumped into roles on major TV series like “The Untouchables,” “Car 54, Where Are You?”, and “The Patty Duke Show.” Her next big TV gig was for “All in the Family,” where she appeared in two episodes in 1972-73. Allen played Amelia, Edith Bunker’s cousin.

In later decades, Allen enjoyed a run in “Soap” as Judge Betty Small. She also starred in “The Greatest American Hero,” “Lou Grant,” “Remington Steele,” and “Hill Street Blues.” In the 90s and early 2000s, you might recognize her from sporadic episodes of “Seinfeld” and “The Sopranos.”

On “Sopranos,” Rae Allen starred as Aunt Quintina Blundetto for five episodes in 2004. You might also have seen her in “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Joan of Arcadia,” and “NYPD Blue.”

When it comes to the big screen, Rae Allen landed roles in fairly big films like “A League of Their Own,” “Reign Over Me,” and “The Hard Easy” in 2007. She also appeared in “Love for Rent,” “The Tiger Makes Out, “Where’s Poppa?” and “Taking Off.”

Fans Mourn Rae Allen, Dead at 95

Several fans took to social media to mourn Rae Allen, who’s dead at 95. One of the tributes came from actress Lori Petty, who starred with Allen in “A League of Their Own.”

“Great artist, dear friend, and momma #RaeAllen has gone on home. What a joy of a being! I love you always. I bet you’re dancing,” Petty wrote on Twitter earlier.

Actor Jonathan Del Arco also wrote, “Goodbye teacher n friend. You lived fiercely and with a sense of humor. I once put my drink down on a coaster while visiting her and noticed it was her Tony! She quipped ‘I really gotta get that thing fixed, in the meantime it’s useful don’t you think?'”

Rae Allen is survived by her nieces, Laura and Betty Cosgrove. Memorial services are being planned for later this week.

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