Edna Skinner, actress known for her role on TV series “Mister Ed” and as replacement for Celeste Holm in the role of Ado Annie in the legendary Broadway production of “Oklahoma!,” died at her North Bend, Ore., home Aug. 8 of heart failure. She was 82.
Washington, D.C., native sang in vaudeville and clubs in Manhattan. On radio shows, she did character voices, animals and sound effects. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II hired her to sing scores for them and later cast her as the replacement Ado Annie in the original run of “Oklahoma!” During World War II, she organized bond rallies for the Treasury Dept., featuring stars such as Fanny Brice, Bea Lillie, Gertrude Lawrence and others.
She played neighbor Kay Addison from 1961-63 on the “Mr. Ed” series that featured a talking horse.
She also acted in six films, from “The Kissing Bandit” in 1948 to “Footsteps in the Night” in 1957. In addition, she appeared on TV in “Friendly Persuasion” (1956) and “Topper” (1954-55).
A lifelong angler, she later became a champion fishing expert, wrote more than 280 articles for fishing and sports magazines, and was employed by two fishing equipment manufacturers, for whom she and her companion of more than 40 years, photographer Jean Fish, traveled more than 485,000 miles on fishing trips and to various sports shows.