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Farewell: Sheila MacRae pays tribute to Art Carney

NOV. 4, 1918-NOV. 9, 2003

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Farewell: Sheila MacRae pays tribute to Art Carney

When we worked on the show, Art would tell all these dirty jokes! He liked to shock us. I was the youngest, so he used to call me Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. ”What do you wanna not do now, Priscilla Prim?” he’d say to me. He was also very good at playing the piano. Back in New York, he’d play all night at a place called Goldie’s. Old-time songs. No rock & roll. Not even jazz. He’d be singing ”Wabash Moon” and ”Carolina in the Morning.” Everybody loved him.

But the truth is, while he operated well in a small group he got to trust, he hated being in crowds of people he didn’t know. One day at a party in New York, after some guy yelled, ”Hey, look! There goes Ed Norton and Alice Kramden!” he said to me, ”You know, Ed Norton and Alice Kramden could ruin us.” I said, ”Oh, no, they love us! The cabdrivers yell, ‘Hey, Alice!”’ He looked at me and said, ”Oh, you’ll get sick of it.” (Carney died of undisclosed causes in Chester, CT.)