Marion Ramsey, who co-starred in the 1980s Police Academy franchise, has died at the age of 73. As Variety reports, the actress died in her Los Angeles home on Thursday.
Roger Paul of Roger Paul Inc. (the agency that managed Ramsey) confirmed the actress had recently fallen ill, but no official cause of death has been determined at this time.
“Marion carried with her a kindness and permeating light that instantly filled a room upon her arrival. The dimming of her light is already felt by those who knew her well. We will miss her, and always love her,” Paul said in a statement to CNN.
Born May 10, 1947 in Philadelphia, Ramsey is best known for portraying Officer Laverne Hooks in the Police Academy films (debuting in the first film in 1984) and she continued to play the role through the 1989 installment Police Academy 6: City Under Siege. In addition to the movie franchise, Ramsey had a notable Broadway stage career, appearing in Hello Dolly!, Eubie!, and Miss Moffat. Her television roles include a guest role in The Jeffersons as well as a regular in the sketch comedy series, Cos.
Ramsey continued to shine on screen following her departure from the franchise — which went on to include another film and two series. She portrayed one-off roles on Beverly Hills, 90210 and MacGyver, while voicing D.I. Holler in the animated The Addams Family from 1992 to 1993.
The actor continued her career well into the 2010s, reuniting with fellow Police Academy cast member Steve Guttenberg for Lavalantula (2015) and 2 Lava 2 Lantula! (2016). Her final acting credit came in 2018’s When I Sing, a film about a woman suddenly swept up into the music industry after a long, mostly disappointing music career.
Ramsey was also an active advocate for HIV and AIDS awareness.
Upon hearing the news, several people took to social media to express their sorrow and honor Ramsey’s legacy.
“Very sad to hear that Marion Ramsey has died aged 73,” BBC host Sarah O’Connell wrote in a tweet. “She starred as Officer Laverne Hooks in the Police Academy series. I had the opportunity to meet Marion once, and she was lovely.”
Ramsey is survived by her three brothers. Rest in power, Marion Ramsey.