- Actress Joyce Randolph was a staple of TV in the 50s and 60s
- She is best known from 'The Honeymooners'
- HERE is a look back at her life and times
The entertainment world is mourning the loss of a true television icon! Joyce Randolph, the vivacious actress who brought the character Trixie Norton to life on the classic 1950s sitcom 'The Honeymooners,' has passed away at the grand age of 99. Her departure marks the end of an era for fans of the show that has kept audiences chuckling for over half a century.
Joyce brought joy to so many around the world
News of her death was shared by her son Randy with TMZ on Sunday. They reported: "We’re told she died in her sleep. She had been suffering from the effects of old age, unable to walk. She was in hospice care at the time of her death."
Born in 1924 in Detroit, Michigan, Joyce got her acting break in the play 'Stage Door' in the early 1940s before she moved to New York City in 1943 where more theatre and TV advertising work followed.
Jackie Gleason, who starred in 'The Honeymooners' as Brooklyn bus driver "Ralph Kramden," spotted Joyce doing a commercial for Clorets and hired her to play "Trixie" on his DuMont network variety show 'Cavalcade of Stars', which premiered in 1951 and featured the "Kramdens" and the "Nortons" – neighbours in a rundown apartment building – in a recurring sketch.
She found it tough working with Jackie on ‘The Honeymooners’ due to his infamous lack of rehearsals, and once said: "You don’t even talk to Jackie, let alone ask for anything He didn’t talk much and he didn’t like to rehearse much."
In fact, Joyce struggled to get work after 'The Honeymooners', and said: "For years after that role, directors would say, ‘No, we can’t use her. She’s too well known as Trixie.’" Typecasting was definitely a thing back then!
And it was because Randolph's portrayal of "Trixie", the witty wife of a hilariously clumsy sewer worker, captured the hearts of millions.
The Last of the Greats
'The Honeymooners' still ranks among the all-time favorites of television comedy. The show grew in popularity after Gleason switched networks with 'The Jackie Gleason Show.' Later, for one season in 1955-56, it became a full-fledged series. Those 39 episodes became a staple of syndicated programming aired all over the country and beyond.
In an interview with 'The New York Times' in 2007, Randolph said she received no compensation in residuals for those 39 episodes. She said she finally began getting royalties with the discovery of "lost" episodes from the variety hours.
With Randolph's passing, we bid adieu to the last surviving member of 'The Honeymooners' fantastic foursome. She joins her fellow stars, Jackie Gleason (the unforgettable "Ralph Kramden"), Audrey Meadows (the sharp-tongued "Alice"), and Art Carney (the lovable "Ed Norton"), in the annals of TV history.
"Trixie" was more than just a character; she was a beacon of humor and charm in a show that dominated Saturday night viewing. Her legacy will continue to live on through reruns and home videos, ensuring that her sparkling presence will never be forgotten.
Farewell, Trixie! As we say goodbye to Joyce Randolph, we remember the laughs, the gags, and the sheer joy she brought to "The Honeymooners" and to all of our living rooms. Her spirit and talent will forever be a part of television's golden tapestry.