Joyce Randolph, Last Surviving ‘Honeymooners’ Star, Dies @ 99

On Saturday, January 13, 2024, we lost Joyce Randolph, one of the last remaining connectors to '50s TV.

(Images via CBS & and by Matthew Rettenmund)

The original Trixie on The Honeymooners (1955-1956) — after replacing Elaine Stritch in the role on Cavalcade of Stars (1951-1952) sketches — died at 99 at her NYC home.

She appeared on TV as early as '44, when not very many Americans even had access to the newfangled contraption, on Gander Sauce (1944 — what a name!), Rocky King, Detective (1950), Buck Rogers (1950), and others. She was referred to as "the most murdered girl on TV" for her work on so many early thrillers (many of which do not appear on IMDb as they no longer exist).

"Television was burgeoning at that point," she said. "Back then, the lights were exceedingly hot and bright, and you wore strange makeup and black lipstick ... You couldn't wear white or black. You wore a lot of blue. And you would change clothes right behind ... the sets! You didn't care who saw you, you had to get it over with."

Along with playing Trixie on the iconic The Honeymooners, she performed in many other sketches on The Jackie Gleason Show (1952-1957), but hardly worked as an actor after that. She made a single appearance as Trixie after that — on the 1991 series Hi Honey, I'm Home, and gave her last performance in any medium in the 2000 film Everything's Jake.

I was fortunate and patient (the line!) to meet Ms. Randolph in 2014 at Chiller Theatre in New Jersey. There was a huge delay after we had our pictures taken and before they were printed out (I think conventions have solved this lag by now), and Ms. Randolph simply sat at a table and fielded shouted-out questions from a rabid group off New Yorkers and New Jerseyans raised on her most famous show.

Randolph recalled several years ago that the cast would get their scripts on a Thursday, get revisions on Friday, do a dress rehearsal on Saturday and then go live on Saturday night. "It was very scary," she said. "I was really almost glad that I didn't have very much to do!"

Randolph was born in Detroit, Michigan, on October 21, 2024. Bitten by the acting bug, she tried out for a touring company of Stage Door, was cast and never looked back, moving to NYC in 1943.

After making such an impact — albeit over a very short period of time — as Trixie, Randolph said she had trouble getting other parts.

Married from 1955 until his death in 1997 to advertising executive Richard Lincoln Charles, she is survived by their son Randolph Richard Charles.

With her death, one of TV's most sterling casts is no more: RIP Joyce Randolph (1924-2024), Art Carney (1918-2003), Audrey Meadows (1922-1996) and Jackie Gleason (1916-1987).

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