Actress and singer Marion Ramsey of Police Academy fame passed away on Thursday at her home in Los Angeles. Per Deadline, news of her death comes from her management team at Roger Paul Inc. A cause of death hasn’t yet been revealed, but it was reported that Ramsey had been ill in the days leading up to her passing. She was 73 years old.
Born on May 10, 1947, Ramsey began her career as a performer by working in theater. She appeared in the original Broadway and its touring productions of Hello, Dolly! and starred opposite Bette Davis in 1974’s Miss Moffat. Ramsey also notably starred in the biographical musical Eubie! with Gregory and Maurice Hines. By the mid-1970s, Ramsey was also appearing on television with recurring roles on the sketch comedy shows Keep on Truckin’ and Bill Cosby’s Cos and a guest role on The Jeffersons.
Ramsey’s breakout role came in 1984 when she joined the ensemble cast of the cult classic comedy Police Academy alongside Steve Guttenberg, Kim Cattrall, Bubba Smith, and Michael Winslow. In the movie, Ramsey played cadet Laverne Hooks, a character easily remembered by her high-pitched but soft-spoken voice. The movie was a hit at the box office, inspiring a franchise that brought about five sequels. Ramsey reprised the role of Laverne in every installment of the franchise.
After Police Academy, Ramsey continued to work in television, landing roles in big name shows like MacGyver, Beverly Hills, 90210, The Nanny, Modern Family, and Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. She also worked as a voiceover artist, which includes voicing Laverne Hooks in an episode of Robot Chicken and a recurring role as D.I. Holler in the animated series adaptation of The Addams Family. Ramsey is also known for her work as a singer and songwriter, which includes writing songs for Haras Frye.
More recently, Ramsey had begun appearing in SyFy horror movies. She reunited with her Police Academy co-stars Guttenberg, Winslow, and Leslie Easterbrook in the Sharknado spinoff Lavalantula about lava-breathing tarantulas that emerge from volcanoes. Ramsey would reprise her role in the sequel 2 Lava 2 Lantula. The actress would follow this up with a final role in the movie When I Sing from director Robin U. Russin.
Fans of the late actress are expressing their sadness over the news on Twitter. YouTuber Sarah O’Connell writes, “Very sad to hear that Marion Ramsey has died aged 73. She starred as Officer Laverne Hooks in the Police Academy series. I had the opportunity to meet Marion once, and she was lovely.”
And blogger Perez Hilton also tweeted, “Rest in power, Marion Ramsey. I grew up obsessed with the Police Academy movies. There were so many! #5 was my favorite because they filmed it in Miami Beach. Thank you for all the laughter.”
Ramsey’s survivors include her brother. At this time, we offer our condolences to him and those mourning the painful loss. There’s no telling just how many people Ramsey helped to bring laughter to with her role as Laverne Hooks, and the iconic performance will keep her forever immortalized. May she rest in peace. This news comes to us from Deadline.