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R.I.P. Mary Grace Canfield, “Ralph” of Green Acres

Mary Grace Canfield, the actress who played Ralph Monroe on Green Acres, has died. She was 89 and had been battling lung cancer.

Canfield’s gender-bending turn as Ralph the inept carpenter on Green Acres was a key element to the show’s weirdness, and Canfield’s brusque, matter-of-fact portrayal suited the role perfectly—especially when paired with her fictional brother Alf’s overwhelming incompetence. Ralph, who greeted fellow Hooterville residents with a sharp “Howdie Doodie,” appeared in more than 40 episodes of the show, which ran from 1965-1971. Canfield would later reprise the role in the 1990 TV movie Return To Green Acres, though, in a 2006 interview, Canfield told the Bangor Daily News that she wished she’d been known for something she’d worked hard to achieve, rather than “something easy to do.”

Canfield also appeared on The Andy Griffith Show, Bewitched, The Love Boat, and General Hospital, and in movies like Pollyanna and Something Wicked This Way Comes. She often played a love-crazy spinster, but, in real life, she was twice-married and had two children.


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