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The Young and the Restless Alum Marguerite Ray Dead At 89

A soap legend is gone
Marguerite Ray

Marguerite Ray

Actress Marguerite Ray, best known for originating the role of Mamie Johnson on The Young and the Restless, has passed away at the age of 89.  The East Bay News reported Ray died on Nov. 18. Ray, the eldest of seven children, was born in New Orleans in 1931. She later moved to California with her family. After graduating from Oakland Technical High School in 1948, Ray obtained a degree in Recreation and Theatre Arts from UC Berkeley in 1953.  Ray worked in the Bay Area then moved to Europe, where she served as a recreation and entertainment director with the U.S. Special Services in Germany from 1954-59.

Ray was bit by the acting bug in the 1960s. She returned from Europe and helped create The Aldridge Players-West, an acting troupe based in San Francisco that toured Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Ray received her big break in 1980 when she was cast as Mamie, the Abbott family's loving housekeeper. She also starred in the short-lived Sanford and Son spinoff, Sanford, and played Jane Matthews, aunt of diva Dominique Deveraux (Diahann Carroll), in 1989 on Dynasty.

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Ray also made appearances in The Flash, Ironside, Quincy M.E. and The Rockford Files.  Her last appearance was in Bill Bellamy's short-lived sitcom, Men, Women & Dogs in 2001.

Ray served as an active member in numerous advocacy groups such as The Actors Fund, Jenesse Center and the Kwanza Foundation. She is survived by her sister, Jacqueline (James) Jackson, sister-in-law, Cynthia Ray, a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins.