Police Academy star Marion Ramsey has died, aged 73.
Ramsey’s manager, Roger Paul of Roger Paul Inc, confirmed that Ramsey died at her Los Angeles home on Thursday (7 January) in a statement to Variety. The actor had recently fallen ill, but her cause of death is yet to be determined.
Ramsey – who is best known for her role as Officer Laverne Hook in the Police Academy films – first began her career on stage in 1964 as a cast member in the original Broadway and touring productions of Hello, Dolly!.
The Philadelphia-native went on to act opposite Bette Davis in the iconic musical Miss Moffat. She made her television debut in the Seventies on ABC’s variety show Keep on Truckin’ and had a regular role on Cos, Bill Cosby’s sketch show. Ramsey also appeared as a guest on the hit sitcom The Jeffersons in 1976.
In 1978, she returned to Broadway to star in the acclaimed musical Eubie! about jazz pianist Eubie Blake.
Ramsey earned her big break in film in 1984 when she starred as the mild-mannered Officer Laverne Hooks in the first Police Academy movie.
The success of the film spawned five sequels. The actor starred in all, concluding with Police Academy 6: City Under Siege in 1989.
Following her departure from the franchise, Ramsey went on to appear in popular TV shows including Beverly Hills, 90210 and MacGyver. The actor also lent her voice to the character of DI Holler in the popular animation The Addams Family from 1992 to 1993.
Ramsey continued working up until her final acting credit in 2018 when she appeared in When I Sing, a film about a woman who finds sudden success in the music industry after years of trying.
A post shared by the Twitter account for When I Sing reads: “It is with great sadness that I share our loss of my friend, and one of the shining stars of When I Sing (her final role), the beautiful, kind, hilarious, #MarionRamsey. I will miss you, my silly sister.”
British producer Jonathon Sothcott also paid tribute to Ramsey in a Twitter post, stating: “In the 80s, the Police Academy films cast a long shadow over the comedy genre – they were everywhere & everyone watched them.
“#MarionRamsey was hilarious as Hooks – a fine comedic actress.”
Ramsey is survived by her three brothers.