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Audrey Meadows's Geni Profile

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Audrey Cotter

Also Known As: "Audrey Meadows"
Birthdate: (69)
Birthplace: New York, NY, USA, New York, New York, United States
Death: Died in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Cause of death: Lung Cancer
Place of Burial: Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Rev Francis James Meadows Cotter and Ida Miller Cotter
Wife of Robert Forman Six
Sister of Jayne Meadows; George E. Cotter and Francis Taylor Cotter

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Audrey Meadows

Audrey Meadows (February 8, 1922 — February 3, 1996) was an American actress best known for her role as the deadpan housewife Alice Kramden on the 1950s American television comedy The Honeymooners.

Early life

Born as Audrey Cotter in Wu-ch'ang, China in 1922, the youngest of four children. Her parents, the Rev Francis James Meadows Cotter and his wife, the former Ida Miller Taylor were Episcopal missionaries. Her elder sister is actress Jayne Meadows.


Meadows' family returned from China to their home in Sharon, Connecticut in the 1930s. After high school, she moved to New York City and sang in the Broadway musical Top Banana before becoming a regular on television in The Bob and Ray Show.

She was then hired to play Alice on The Jackie Gleason Show after the original actress, Pert Kelton, who originated the role, was forced to leave the show due to the blacklisting, although the official reason given was that Kelton was suffering from a health problem. When The Honeymooners became a half-hour situation comedy on CBS, Meadows continued in the role. She then returned to play Alice after a long hiatus, when Gleason produced occasional Honeymooners specials in the 1970s. Meadows had auditioned for Gleason and was initially turned down for being too chic and pretty to play Alice. Meadows submitted a far different photo of herself, looking much plainer, the next day and won the role of Alice.

Later years

Meadows appeared in a number of films, worked with Dean Martin on his television variety shows and celebrity roasts, and then returned to situation comedy in the 1980s playing the mother-in-law on Too Close for Comfort. She guest-starred on The Red Skelton Show show, made an appearance in an episode of "Murder, She Wrote" ("If The Frame Fits") and made an appearance in an episode of The Simpsons ("Old Money"), wherein she voiced the role of Bea Simmons, Grandpa Simpsons' girlfriend. Her last work was on the sitcom Dave's World, in which she played Kenny's (Shadoe Stevens) mother.

Syndication royalties

Meadows' lawyers successfully argued in court that she was entitled to royalties when The Honeymooners began to appear in syndication. This did not affect her friendship with Jackie Gleason, Art Carney and Joyce Randolph, none of whom received the syndication royalties.

Personal life

On August 24, 1961, Meadows married her second husband, Robert F. "Bob" Six, President of Continental Airlines, in Honolulu, Hawaii. They remained married until Six's death in 1986; the union was childless.

Business career

Meadows served as director of the First National Bank of Denver for eleven years, the first woman to hold this position, and was also an Advisory Director of Continental Airlines. Robert Six died in 1986 and Meadows never remarried. Between 1961 and 1981, Audrey Meadows Six was actively involved in marketing programs at Continental, including participating in the design of flight attendant and customer service agent uniforms, the design of aircraft interior, and design of Continental's exclusive airport club lounges, known as the "President's Club".


In October 1994, Meadows published her memoirs, entitled, Love, Alice.

[edit] Illness and death

In 1995, she was diagnosed with lung cancer and given roughly a year to live; she declined pro-active treatment. Meadows died on February 3, 1996, at Cedars Sinai Hospital-Los Angeles after slipping into a coma. She was five days from her 74th birthday. She was interred in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, next to her husband.

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Audrey Meadows's Timeline

February 8, 1926
New York, New York, United States
February 3, 1996
Age 69
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, United States