Marion Ramsey, the actor who played the tiny-voiced police officer Laverne Hooks in the Police Academy movies, has died at the age of 73.
Roger Paul of Roger Paul Inc., Ramsey’s representative, confirmed the news to industry publication Variety.
He said that Ramsey had fallen ill recently, but did not clarify the cause of her death.
“Her passion for performing and sharing her heart with the world was immense. Marion carried with her a kindness and permeating light that instantly filled a room upon her arrival,” reads a statement from Paul. “The dimming of her light is already felt by those who knew her well. We will miss her, and always love her.”
While she’s best known for her role in Police Academy, she actually had quite a career outside of that franchise.
It all started for Ramsey on Broadway, where she co-starred in productions like 1978’s Eubie!, a biographical musical about jazz pianist Eubie Blake, and toured the U.S. in the musical Hello Dolly!.
Her career on both big and small screens took off after she guest-starred on sitcom The Jeffersons in 1976. She was then a regular on Cos, Bill Cosby’s short-lived sketch comedy show.
Up next came Police Academy. She starred in six of eight of the franchise’s movies, making her one of the most notable characters. As Hooks, she would get laughs from audiences whenever her soft-spoken demeanour broke into a fierce, powerful roar.
Post-Academy, she voiced D.I. Holler on The Addams Family animated series, and guest-starred on TV shows like Beverly Hills, 90210, MacGyver and Robot Chicken.
Ramsey was an avid supporter of AIDS awareness, and often lent her talents to help fundraise for the cause.
Upon hearing the news of her death, Police Academy costar Michael Winslow shared his condolences on social media.
“I have no words to say or explain the pain of all of those we lost. Only that we feel it and understand… and it still hurts,” he wrote.
Ramsey is survived by her three brothers.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.