Meet Allyn Ann McLerie
Allyn Ann McLerie was married for over six decades to her actor husband, George Gaynes. The former TV star, died at age 98 on February 15th.
George Gaynes is well remembered for his work as an irritable foster parent on the ’80s sitcom “Punky Brewster,” he also played the bewildered commandant in seven “Police Academy” films.
Gaynes, who was not only a character actor but a baritone singer, participated in hundreds of appearances both on TV comedies and dramas, as well as over 30 films. His credits also include many plays, musical comedies and even operas in the U.S. and Europe.
Thought he worked in several artistic fields, he remain virtually unknown. Gaynes recurred from 1987-91 on the critically acclaimed NBC comedy “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd,” starring Blair Brown and Gaynes’ wife, actress Allyn Ann McLerie; he was a series regular, as Sen. Strobe Smithers, on the first season (1992-93) of Linda Bloodworth-Thomason-created CBS comedy “Hearts Afire,” starring John Ritter and Markie Post.
His real names was George Jongejans and was born in Helsinki to a Russian mother and Dutch father. He was the nephew of actor Gregory Gaye, who played a Nazi official in “Casablanca.”
Gaynes was actually raised in France, England and Switzerland. He was enlisted in the Royal Dutch Navy during World War II.
After the war he went to New York, where he joined the New York City Opera. But he considered himself more an actor than a singer. His last movie roles was the 2003 movie “Just Married.”
Canadian Allyn Ann McLerie was also in the industry. She appeared for three seasons on the TV comedy The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. On TV she also played spinsterish secretary Janet Reubner on The Tony Randall Show (1976-78).
Allyn Ann McLerie was born December 1, 1926. She was first married to lyricist Adolph Green. The couple divorced in 1953 after an eight-year-marriage.
She made her debut at 16 in the chorus of One Touch of Venus. She gained recognition after playing soubrette roles in such hits as Leonard Bernstein’s On the Town and Irving Berlin’s Miss Liberty Four years.
Allyn Ann McLerie met George in 1952. At the time she was a singer/actress and they both performed on Broadway. In the late 80’s the couple moved from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, CA.; where they founded the State Street Ballet Company.
They worked together in a number of projects, including Punky Brewster, where Allyn Ann McLerie guest-starred as his love interest on the television series. She retired from acting in the early 90’s.
According to his IMDb page, she was George’s second wife. They had two children. She is the mother of daughter, Iya Gaynes Falcone Brown. Allyn Ann McLerie also gave birth to a son, Mathew but he died in 1989 in a car crash.
In addition to his wife, Gaynes is survived by a daughter; one granddaughter; and two great-granddaughters.