Actress Marion Ramsey, who had a Broadway career before appearing in the “Police Academy” movies, died on Thursday in Los Angeles. She was 73.
No cause of death was given by her management company.
Ramsey portrayed Officer Laverne Hooks as an officer with a high-pitched voice that mixed with her mild-mannered character. She appeared in the first “Police Academy” movie in 1984 as well as all five sequels.
Ironically, Ramsey wore a fat suit for her role as Hooks. The plan was for her character to get thinner as the movies progressed, but producers thought otherwise.
Marion Ramsey Was Broadway Veteran Before Movies
Yet she was not a newbie to the acting scene at all. Ramsey had perfected her acting chops on Broadway, making a name for herself in the 1978 production “Eubie!” It was an autobiographical look at the life of jazz pianist Eubie Blake starring brothers Gregory and Maurice Hines.
She began her show business career by appearing in both the original Broadway and subsequent touring productions of “Hello, Dolly!”
Ramsey also started a long career in TV and films. She had a 1976 guest appearance on CBS” “The Jeffersons” sitcom. Also, she started working as a regular on comedian Bill Cosby’s sketch comedy series “Cos.”
She is survived by three brothers.
Marion Ramsey was born on May 10, 1947, in Philadelphia.
Her real-life voice didn’t even come close to sounding like that of her “Police Academy” character. It was much bolder and she used it to her advantage when speaking out as an AIDS/HIV awareness advocate.
Here is a clip of Ramsey and co-star Leslie Easterbrook singing “Team Thing” from “Police Academy 3.”