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Mary Grace Canfield Who Played Ralph on 'Green Acres' Dies at 89

Tuesday, 18 Feb 2014 11:15 AM

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Mary Grace Canfield, who played Ralph the woman carpenter on "Green Acres," died on Saturday from lung cancer. She was 89.

The Rochester, N.Y.-born Canfield died at a hospice in the California coastal town of Santa Barbara, according to her daughter Phoebe Alexiades, the Associated Press reported.

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Canfield played the character Ralph Monroe on the hit TV series that ran from 1965 to 1971, where she was known for greeting her neighbors with a cheery "howdy doody" while wearing painters' overalls.

A longtime resident of Bangor, ME, Canfield discussed her acting career with the local Bangor Daily News in 2006.

"To be remembered for Ralph kind of upsets me — only in the sense that it was so easy and undemanding," Canfield said. "It's being known for something easy to do instead of something you worked hard to achieve."

Bangor added in the interview that she knew she wanted to be an actor at age 12.

"I don’t know what triggered it because my mother and father didn’t want me to go to the movies. But I did go," Canfield told the Bangor Daily News. "I sneaked to the movies. I devoured plays. I didn’t want to go to college because I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Later when I asked my parents what they thought of this little skinny girl wanting to be an actress, they said they were so relieved I wanted to do something."

Canfield also appeared on other famous TV shows of yesteryear including "The Andy Griffith Show," "Bewitched," and "The Love Boat" among others.

Prior to moving to Hollywood and becoming a well-known TV personality, Canfield had appeared in Broadway and off-Broadway plays, according to the Los Angeles Times. Her health had reportedly been declining since 2011.

Canfield is survived by her husband of 25 years, John Bischof, daughters Phoebe Alexiades and Alison Carey; and three grandsons.

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