For the hockey player, see Gord McRae.
Gordon MacRae (March 12, 1921 - January 24, 1986) was an American actor and singer, best known for his appearances in the film versions of two Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, Oklahoma! (1955) and Carousel (1956), and playing Bill Sherman in On Moonlight Bay (1951) and By The Light of the Silvery Moon (1953).
Born Albert Gordon MacRae in East Orange in Essex County in northeastern New Jersey, MacRae graduated in 1940 from Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, and he thereafter served as a navigator in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. Prior to this, he attended Nottingham High School in Syracuse, New York.
He made his Broadway debut in 1942, acquiring his first recording contract soon afterwards. Many of his hit recordings were made with Jo Stafford. It was in 1948 that he appeared in his first film, The Big Punch, a drama about boxing. He soon began an on-screen partnership with Doris Day and appeared with her in several films.
In 1950, he starred with Doris Day in "Tea for Two" (a reworking of "No, No, Nanette"), then in 1951, he starred again with Doris Day in On Moonlight Bay, followed by the 1953 sequel By the Light of the Silvery Moon. That same year, he also starred opposite Kathryn Grayson in the third film version of The Desert Song. This was followed by leading roles in two major films of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, Oklahoma! (1955) and Carousel (1956), both films opposite Shirley Jones.
On radio, he was the host and lead actor on The Railroad Hour, a half-hour anthology series made up of condensed versions of hit Broadway musicals. Many of those programs were recorded later in popular studio cast albums: most of these recordings have been reissued on CDs.
MacRae appeared frequently on television, on such programs as The Martha Raye Show and The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford, both on NBC. On Christmas 1958, MacRae and Ford performed the Christmas hymn "O Holy Night". Earlier in 1958, MacRae guest starred on the short-lived NBC variety series, The Polly Bergen Show.
Thereafter, MacRae appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, and The Bell Telephone Hour. He continued his musical stage career, often performing with his wife, as in a 1964 production of Bells Are Ringing, also performing as Sky Masterson in the popular musical Guys and Dolls, with his wife playing the role of Miss Adeleide, reprising her Broadway role. In the late 1960s he co-hosted for a week on The Mike Douglas Show. He also toured in summer stock and appeared in nightclubs. In 1967, he replaced Robert Preston in the original Broadway run of the musical I Do! I Do!, starring opposite Carol Lawrence, who had taken over the role from Mary Martin.
He was married to Sheila MacRae from 1941 until 1967; the couple were the parents of four children: actresses Heather and Meredith MacRae, and sons William Gordon MacRae and Robert Bruce MacRae. Two of the children, Meredith MacRae and Robert Bruce MacRae, predeceased their mother, Sheila.
Gordon MacRae was married, secondly, to Elizabeth Lambert Schrafft on September 25, 1967, and fathered one daughter, Amanda Mercedes MacRae in 1968. They remained married until his death. He was buried at the Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Big Punch
Look for the Silver Lining
daught !The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady
Return of the Frontiersman
Tea for Two
west !The West Point Story
On Moonlight Bay
By the Light of the Silvery Moon
desert !The Desert Song
El Khobar / Paul Bonnard
Three Sailors and a Girl
best !The Best Things in Life Are Free
Zero to Sixty
pilot !The Pilot
The Screen Director
Screen Snapshots: Fun in the Sun
So You Want a Television Set
Himself (Cameo appearance)
Junior Miss (1942) (Broadway) (replacement for Walter Collins),
Three to Make Ready (1946) (Broadway),
Carousel (1955) (Music Hall at Fair Park),
Annie Get Your Gun (1960) (Kansas City),
Guys and Dolls (1963) (Milwaukee),
Jerome Kern's Theatre (1966) (Avery Fisher Hall),
Kismet (1966) (Columbus, Ohio),
I Do! I Do! (1967) (Broadway) (replacement for Robert Preston),
Milk and Honey (1972) (Columbus, Ohio),
Paint Your Wagon (1978) (Columbus, Ohio),
Lux Radio Theatre
On Moonlight Bay
May 5, 1952
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license