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Leah MacGrady

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Leah MacGrady
Leah s2.png
Age At least 68[1]

Gender Female
Animal Bear

Hair color Grayish-white
Complexion Light brown
Favorite color Gray[2]
Residence Leah MacGrady's house, Elwood City
Family Martha (sister)
Skip Bitterman (nephew)
Justin (grandson)
Chester (first husband)
Unnamed second husband (implied)
Job School lunch lady

Cartoon debut "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn"
Voiced by Bronwen Mantel

Mrs. Leah MacGrady is Lakewood Elementary School's lunch lady. She enjoys bingo and is friends with Grandma Thora. She is a wise, kind, and supportive friend to everyone, and a good cook, to boot.


Her first name was Sarah[3] until season 13. In some books, her last name is spelled McGrady.

In Brain's Chess Mess she says her nickname in high school was Checkmate MacGrady. This indicates that MacGrady was her birth surname, not that of her husbands.

In Arthur Takes a Stand, John Lewis refers to her as Molasses MacGrady, which is probably some kind of nickname.


MacGrady is usually humble but cheerful as well as a nice lunch lady, a point where even the kids seem to really like and respect her, getting really worried and concerned about her when she got cancer. She also seems to be wise and supportive as the kids would even come to her for advice on multiple occasions.


During the episode "Draw!" Mrs. MacGrady listens to Francine and how her feelings are hurt. In order to let the other classmates know how she feels, she sets up a plan at the school carnival. She tells the others that when she gives them the cue they need to pull a rope, which will dump gloop on Francine. In the end the students don't follow through with their plan, as they realize that Francine is really hurt inside. Mrs. MacGrady had really set up balloons to fall on her instead.  

In the episode "The Great MacGrady," she has cancer and loses her hair from the chemotherapy. By "Prunella and the Haunted Locker," also a season 13 episode, her hair has grown back. Her replacement in "The Great MacGrady" is her nephew, Skip Bitterman. When she returns in that episode, Skip calls her Aunt Leah, instead of Sara. This continues on throughout the series. "Leah" could be referencing one of the writers of the episode, Leah Ryan, whom the episode was dedicated to. Also revealed in "The Great MacGrady," Mrs. MacGrady has a sister, Martha, who stayed with her after she was diagnosed with cancer.

In Arthur, It's Only Rock and Roll, she is the keyboardist for U Stink.

In the episode "Arthur Accused!" it is revealed that her first husband's name is Chester.


Leah MacGrady could be considered a friend to everyone in the series. She is kind and listens to everyone and helps them with their problems.

Grandma Thora: Leah MacGrady and Grandma Thora are alike in personality. They are rarely the antagonist of a dream or imagination, unlike Paige Turner. MacGrady wasn't afraid to criticize Grandma Thora's cooking. The two are seen together in many occasions.

As a background character, she is often seen with Ms. Sweetwater and Ms. Tingley.

Character development[edit]


Mrs. MacGrady's visual design is possibly based on a Chickin Lickin' employee from the 1994 book Arthur's Chicken Pox.


  • In "Brain's Chess Mess," it is mentioned that, when Leah MacGrady was in high school, she was known as Checkmate MacGrady.
  • In the episode "Arthur Takes a Stand," it is mentioned that she participated in the March On Washington in 1963.
  • Mrs. MacGrady's first name is Leah, but in the first 12 seasons, her first name is Sarah.
    • However, the name "Leah" was used in "The Great MacGrady" and later episodes, possibly because the episode was dedicated to Leah Ryan.



Mrs. MacGrady 2.jpg
The full image gallery for Leah MacGrady may be viewed at Leah MacGrady/Gallery.


  1. In "Room to Ride", Mrs. MacGrady says she has not missed an election in 50 years. In the same episode, Brain says that you must be at least 18 to vote.
  3. "The Half-Baked Sale" (see transcript for proof of spelling).