Ruth Manning, a veteran character actress who gained recognition playing Aunt Harriet in Kraft Real Mayonnaise TV ads in the 1980s, died Nov. 19 of heart failure. She was believed to be 84.
Manning died while auditioning for a television role, said her agent, Greg Mayo.
She worked in stock and repertory companies for a decade before making her Broadway debut in 1950 in Robinson Jeffers’ “The Tower Beyond Tragedy” and going on to feature roles in “The Prisoner of Second Avenue,” “Sticks and Bones” and the musical “Molly.”
She also starred in “The Rimers of Eldritch” and productions of “The Iceman Cometh” and Jules Feiffer’s “Little Murders.”
On television, she appearerd in “Maude,” “All in the Family,” “E.R.” and “Three’s Company,” while on the bigscreen, she appeared in “Audrey Rose” and several TV movies.
But she was best known as bossy Harriet in the 30-second Kraft commercials.
She is survived by two nephews and a niece.