September 21, 2003 by

Gisele MacKenzie


Categories: Actors, Hollywood, Writers/Editors

Gisele MacKenzie, a singer and actress who became a star on the TV show, “Your Hit Parade,” died on Sept. 5 of colon cancer. She was 76.
Born Gisele Marie-Louise Marguerite LaFleche, she studied piano and violin at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. For appearing on her own CBC radio show, ”Meet Gisele,” she became known as Canada’s first lady of song.
In 1951, MacKenzie changed her name and moved from Winnipeg to Los Angeles. After touring with Jack Benny and recording songs for Capitol Records, MacKenzie joined ”Your Hit Parade,” a TV show where the cast sang the seven most popular songs of the week. She was the first Hit Parader to top the charts when her own song, “Hard to Get,” stayed at number one for 13 weeks.
MacKenzie headlined her own variety program, ”The Gisele MacKenzie Show,” in 1957 and made regular appearances on ”The Sid Caesar Show.” For the next 30 years, she showcased her talents on television by acting in a wide variety of shows, including ”Murder, She Wrote,” ”MacGyver” and ”Boy Meets World.” Her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is located at 1601 Vine St.

3 Responses to Gisele MacKenzie

  1. Jim Stewart

    Gisele MacKenzie was, without a doubt, one of the more remarkable and gifted personalities in showbiz. Her talents were numberous: singer, dancer, violinist, pianist, lecturer, actress, animal lover, mother, cook, friend, and an all around charming lady. I first met her when I was 10 and we became friends through the years; she was always kind and generous, and that warm contralto voice with heavenly perfect pitch just took me away from this ole earth. Gisele often commented that I was her number one fan, and an all around good friend. We kept in touch over these many years, and had many a joyous phone conversation. I will miss this sweet earth angel, and it’s good to know that she is at peace. Bless her sweet heart.

  2. Robert Ort

    Gisele MacKenzie was one of those rare talents who comes along all too infreqently. Even though she has left this earth and is surely singing with the angels, I hope that music lovers for genertions to come will make the effort to discover this wonderful performer through her CD’s which are available on line and other recordings which frequently are auctioned on Ebay. Listen carefully and you will hear not only a wonderful voice but a warm and totally engaging personality. She was a true musician and a lovely, down-to-earth lady. Everytime I hear her voice I reminded of the immense pleasure I derived from her long television career her wonderful theatrical, nightclub and concert appearances. She was as lovely and gracious in person as she was on stage. Dear Gisele is gone but never forgotten.

  3. Gordon Stevens

    I remember Gisele from way back.She was the star of a radio show called”Morgantime”,it was brodcasted from a theater on Cote De Neiges in montreal .I believe it was monday nights .I use to go every week and sit in the audience.I think she must have lived near me on peel street in Montreal because I would see her walking down the street head held high singing away to herself.
    I followed her career knowing that I knew her when.I collected her records.I think her first was on an obscure label”Dominion”in canada.There were four sides 78 RPM.Loved her and miss her.

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