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‘General Hospital’ and ‘Andy Griffith Show’ Alum Elizabeth MacRae Dead at Age 88

Elizabeth MacRae Dead at Age 88
Elizabeth MacRae YouTube

Former General Hospital star Elizabeth MacRae has died at age 88.

Deadline confirmed that the soap star passed on Monday, May 27, in her hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina.

“She had a wonderful life,” MacRae’s nephew Jim MacRae told local North Carolina outlet City View on Monday. “She was bright and articulate. She was still getting fan mail at Highland House.”

He added, “It’s sad, but she has crossed the river. She had a wonderful life. The last few years were rough, but she is with my dad, who she adored, her father and mother, sister and husband. She lived a good life.”

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The actress is survived by her five stepchildren, Terry Halsey, Peter Halsey, Hugh Halsey, Cate Halsey, and Alex Halsey Topper.

MacRae made her acting debut in the late 1950s, making her television debut in 1958 on The Verdict Is Yours. She went on to appear in television shows such as Route 66, The Fugitive, Gunsmoke, Bonanza and I Dream of Jeannie, among others, throughout her 25-year acting career.

She famously starred in a recurring role on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., playing Lou-Ann Poovie, from 1966 to 1969. She also appeared as Betty Parker on The Andy Griffith Show in 1967.

“So much of a show business career depends on luck and timing,” MacRae told North Carolina newspaper The Mount Airy News in 2014. “So much depends on lucky breaks. There are so many talented people.”

MacRae also had an extensive soap opera career, playing Meg Bentley on General Hospital from 1969 to 1970 after taking over for Patricia Breslin, who played the part from 1966 to 1969. MacRae returned to General Hospital for a second stint as Meg from 1972 to 1973. She also appeared as Agatha Dobson on Guiding Light from 1983 to 1984.

When it came to her film career, MacRae worked alongside director Frances Ford Coppola for the 1974 movie The Conversation, in which she starred as Meredith.

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After she retired from acting, MacRae focused on her work as a drug and alcohol counselor with the Freedom Institute in New York City, according to her obituary. She and her husband, Charles Day Halsey, Jr. — who died earlier this year at age 96 — eventually relocated back to North Carolina. (MacRae married Halsey Jr. in 1969.)

MacRae’s most recent acting role was in 2011 when she voiced various characters in Supernatural: The Animation.

According to her obituary, the late actress donated “a trove of items chronicling her acting career” to the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill’s Southern Historical Collection. MacRae was inducted into the Fayetteville Performing Arts Hall of Fame in March 2023.

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