Marion Ramsey, known for acting in the “Police Academy” films and gracing the Broadway stage in 1978’s “Eubie!,” died Thursday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 73.
Roger Paul of Roger Paul Inc., the agency that managed Ramsey, confirmed the news to Variety. Ramsey had recently fallen ill, but her exact cause of death is currently undetermined.
Though many may know Ramsey for her role as Officer Laverne Hooks in the “Police Academy” films, her career began early. In 1964, she appeared in “Hello, Dolly!,” and in the 1970s, she established herself as a theater, film, and television talent. On stage, she acted in “Miss Moffat,” and on screen, she took part in the variety show “Keep On Truckin'” on ABC and held a regular role on “Cos.”
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But 1984 brought about the role that would mark Ramsey’s career success. With the first “Police Academy,” Ramsey found a film franchise that would see her through the 1980s. She continued to act in the movies through the sixth installment in 1989, “Police Academy 6: City Under Siege.”
Ramsey continued to shine on screen following her departure from the franchise, including another film and two series. She portrayed one-off roles on “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “MacGyver” while voicing D.I. Holler in the animated “The Addams Family” from 1992 to 1993.
The actor continued her career well into the 2010s, reuniting with fellow “Police Academy” cast member Steve Guttenberg for “Lavalantula” (2015) and “2 Lava 2 Lantula!” (2016). Her final acting credit came in 2018’s “When I Sing,” a film about a woman suddenly swept up into the music industry after a long, mostly disappointing music career.
Ramsey was also an active advocate for HIV and AIDS awareness.