December 1, 1926 – May 21, 2018
Allyn Ann McLerie Gaynes, beloved mother, actress and dancer of the Broadway stage, movie and television screens, died peacefully at the home of her daughter, Iya Gaynes Falcone Brown in North Bend, Washington early Monday morning. She was 91.
Allyn Ann was born in Grand’Mere, Quebec of Scottish-Canadian parents. She and her mother moved to Bay Ridge Brooklyn New York to live with her maternal grandparents after her father, a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot died. It was three months before Allyn Ann was born.
In Bay Ridge, she attended Fort Hamilton High, took piano and dance lessons in New York. She quickly found herself on Broadway at the age of 16 in Agnes de Mille’s “One Touch of Venice.” From there she toured Europe with American Ballet Theatre playing the Cowgirl in Ms. de Mille’s “Rodeo.” Also on Broadway, she played Miss Turnstiles in Leonard Bernstein’s “On the Town,” choreography by Jerome Robbins, Amy in “Where’s Charley?” with Ray Bolger, choreographed by Balanchine, and Miss Liberty in “Miss Liberty” again with Jerome Robbins. She studied with Lee Strasberg and was a life long member of the famed Actor’s Studio in New York.
Allyn Ann’s first movie was “Where’s Charley” shot in London, where she also played in “To Dorothy a Son” with Richard Attenborough. Later in Hollywood came “Calamity Jane” with Doris Day, “Desert Song,” “Murders on the Rue Morgue,” and “Battlecry” while contracted with Warner Brothers Films.
Further movies include “All the President’s Men,” Jeremiah Johnson,” and “The Way We Were” all with Robert Redford, “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” with Jane Fonda, “The Cowboys” with John Wayne, “Cinderella Liberty,” with James Cann, “The Reivers” with Steve McQueen, and many more. She served as a Board member for the Screen Actors Guild and was a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures.
Her television credits include “The Tony Randall Show,” “The Thornbirds,” “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd,” “Saint Elsewhere,” “Barney Miller,” “The Love Boat,” “Dynasty,” “WKRP in Cincinnati,” “Punky Brewster,” and many more.
She married the love of her life in 1953, fellow actor George Gaynes. They had a 62 year marriage until his death at 98 in 2016. They had two children, Iya and Matthew. Matthew died in a car incident in 1989 in India. Iya has remained by their sides living in Santa Barbara, California since the early 1990s until relocating to North Bend, Washington in 2015. Both Allyn Ann and George lived with Iya and husband, Norman until their respective deaths.
Allyn Ann is survived by her daughter Iya and husband, Norman. Granddaughter Niki and husband, Simon and her great granddaughters, Portia and Harper all of the Snoqualmie Valley Washington area.