Audrey Meadows almost didn't get the role of Alice because of her appearance

Although Audrey Meadows wasn't the first actress to play Alice Kramden, The Honeymooners wouldn't be the same without her.

The on-screen chemistry between her and Jackie Gleason made the series a classic, even though it only had one season. However, Gleason was initially unsure if Meadows was suitable for the role. It wasn't about her ability to bring the part to life, though. The actor thought her appearance wasn't a good fit.

During an interview with The Tampa Tribune in 1977, Meadows talked about how she tricked Gleason into thinking she was a different woman.

"I almost didn't get the job of Alice for the series in 1956 because Jackie Gleason said I was too young, too pretty, and not right for the part," she said to The Tampa Tribune staff writer Barbara Hunting. "I knew I was right for it, so I hired a photographer to come to my apartment early in the morning when I would look half-asleep. I pulled back my hair, no make-up, put on an ugly outfit, and had him take my picture."

This was a great idea because the actor took one look at the photos and said, "that's the one." He did not recognize her at all. Eventually, Gleason discovered that she was the woman he turned away because of her looks. Yet, he wasn't upset. He was impressed with her humor and dedication to getting the role.

According to The Honeymooners actress, he said, "any woman with the sense of humor to take this awful picture deserves a job." Meadows also revealed how the series came together. It wasn't like a usual production where lines were rehearsed before filming.

"You would not have believed how The Honeymooners show was put together," she began, "No rehearsals, just read the lines. I remember one time when Gleason said, 'We'll do it Civil War style, just shoot who speaks.' It was great fun working with Art Carney and Gleason."

Meadows remembered Art Carney as a sweet guy who was shy until he knew someone well. Fans worldwide would often send her letters about how much they loved the show.

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