Actress and singer Marion Ramsey of the Police Academy movies died Thursday at her home in L.A. She was 73.
Deadline reports she had recently been ill, but that no cause of death has been determined.
Born May 10, 1947, in Philadelphia, Ramsey got her start on Broadway, appearing in the Pearl Bailey (1918-1990) production of Hello, Dolly! (1968) and in the national tour.
In 1974, Ramsey appeared in what would become a legendary flop, the musical version of The Corn Is Green, a show entitled Miss Moffat. The show, starring Bette Davis (1908-1989), Dody Goodman (1914-2008), Dorian Harewood (b. 1950) and Nell Carter (1948-2003). So negative were its out-of-town notices that it never made it to Broadway.
In 1978, she achieved Broadway success again with the acclaimed Eubie!, about the extraordinary life of musician Eubie Blake (1887-1983).
Among many TV appearances, Ramsey guested on The Jeffersons (1976), her TV debut, and was a regular on Cos (1976), a short-lived sketch show starring Bill Cosby (b. 1937).
In 1984, buried in a fat suit and using her remarkable range to play a whispery cop prone to ear-popping episodes when under duress — "Don't move, dirtbag!" — she found lasting fame as Laverne Hooks in Police Academy (1984), a surprise smash-hit comedy that spawned a long series of features.
Ramsey appeared in all six of the films, through the last installment in 1989. She reprised her role for the animated series Robot Chicken in 2006.
In 2015, Ramsey was reunited with her Police Academy co-star Steve Guttenberg (b. 1958) for the TV movie Lavalantula, and once more for its 2016 sequel.
Her final movie was 2018's When I Sing.
She is survived by three brothers.