Patricia Morison, star of stage and screen, passes away at age 103

She went from femme fatale to Broadway star to clowning around on 'Cheers.'

Center image: AP Photo

Patricia Morison did not make many appearances on television, but when she did, she radiated off the screen. With her long, long, dark hair, the New York City native made for a memorable guest star series as far apart as Have Gun – Will Travel and Cheers. On the latter, in one of her final acting performances, Morison portrayed a wealthy old woman whom Frasier must entertain as a clown in "Send in the Crane."

Three decades earlier, she appeared alongside Vincent Price, portraying a Shakespearean actress in "The Moor's Revenge" on the Western Have Gun – Will Travel. It was a small screen role that made plenty of sense to viewers, who knew Morison from her acclaimed Broadway work.

In the late 1940s, Cole Porter cast Morison in his musical Kiss Me, Kate, after hearing the actress sing in Hollywood. It was a role that would be forever linked to her. 

AP PhotoAlfred Drake, left, and Patricia Morison, co-starring in the musical Kiss Me Kate, play checkers backstage at the New Century Theatre in New York, Christmas Day, 1949

The stage production proved to be such a smash that a Kiss Me, Kate made-for-TV movie was crafted and aired in 1958, with Morison and Alfred Drake in their original roles.

Morison boosted her Broadway fame by appearing in The King and I. Prior to her big musical breakthrough, Morison had portrayed femme fatales in handfuls of B-grade motion pictures throughout the Forties, working with familiar MeTV faces like Fred McMurray and Cesar Romero in popcorn fare like Rangers of Fortune (1940) and Romance of the Rio Grande (1941).

Morison died of natural causes on Sunday at the age of 103 in her home in Los Angeles, as reported by The Guardian. Watch her near the end of her acting career in a hilarious Cheers below.

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