Ellen Corby Biography

Birthday: 1911-06-03
Place of Birth: Racine, Wisconsin
Wiki Biography: Ellen Corby was born Ellen Hansen on June 3, 1911, in Racine, Wisconsin. She began her career as a bit player in the film Speed Limited (1935) in 1940. Ellen would not be seen on the big screen again until 1945 in Cornered (1945). In 1946, she appeared in 14 films, although mostly in small, minor roles. One of them was in the Christmas classic It's a Wonderful Life (1946). One of the highlights of her career came about in 1948 in I Remember Mama (1948) as Aunt Trina. Ellen garnered a nomination for Best Supporting Actress, which was ultimately won by Claire Trevor in Key Largo (1948). The Oscar nomination didn't send her to the heights she had hoped. This wonderful actress continued in roles that were mostly minor compared to some of her contemporaries. However, it was television where she would receive the acclaim that had eluded her on the screen. Time after time she played parts that was absolutely outstanding. One of the funniest was as Myrt "Hubcaps" Lesh in "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960). She was the ringleader of a gang that stole cars and then sold them, and she sold Barney Fife a stolen car that turned out to be a real lemon. The series that brought her worldwide recognition, though, was the highly acclaimed "The Waltons" (1971) as Esther "Grandma" Walton. The role got her Emmy awards in 1973, 1974, and 1975. Although a stroke in 1977 slowed her down, Ellen still made appearances on the series. Her last TV appearance was in 1997 in the TV movie A Walton Easter (1997) (TV). On April 14, 1999, Ellen died at the Motion Picture & Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. She was 87 years old. IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson Mini Biography Ellen Hansen (aka Ellen Corby aka Grandma Walton) was born June 3, 1911 (or 1913), in Racine, WI. She grew up in Philadelphia, PA, and left for Hollywood in the early 1930s to become an actress, which she became only after working as a script assistant for twelve years. She appeared in over 25 uncredited or small character parts before taking the role of the lovelorn Aunt Trina, in I Remember Mama (1948), which won her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She appeared in such well-known films as Shane (1953), Sabrina (1954), and Vertigo (1958) as well as such trivialities as Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town (1950) and The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters (1954), usually playing the character part of an old maid busybody. She made many guest appearances in television westerns, receiving a Golden Boot award from the Motion Picture and Television Fund in 1989. It was in television that she established the role for which she will always be remembered: Grandma Esther Walton in "The Waltons" (1971) (1972-81). Even after suffering a serious stroke in 1977, she continued to make occasional, brief appearances in the series and its reprisals. She won Emmys as Best Supporting Actress for the part of Grandma in 1973, 1975, and 1976. She died April 14, 1999, aged 87, at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills CA.

Ellen CorbyPhotos & Pictures

Filmography

TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
Caged Emma Barber 1950 Crime
Shane 1953 Drama
The Waltons Esther Walton 1971 Drama
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
I Remember Mama Aunt Trina 1948 Drama, Family
Caged Emma Barber 1950 Crime, Drama
The Gunfighter 1950 Drama
Harriet Craig 1950 Drama
The Mating Season 1951 Comedy
Goodbye, My Fancy 1951 Comedy, Romance
Here Comes the Groom 1951 Comedy, Musical, Romance
On Moonlight Bay 1952 Comedy, Musical, Romance
The Big Trees 1952 Action, Drama
A Lion Is in the Streets 1953 Drama
Shane 1953 Drama
Sabrina 1954
The Seventh Sin Sister Saint Joseph 1957
Vertigo Manager of McKittrick Hotel 1958 Crime, Mystery, Romance
The Caretakers 1963 Drama
4 for Texas 1963 Comedy
The Family Jewels 1965 Comedy
The Glass Bottom Boat Anna Miller 1966 Comedy, Romance
Napoleon and Samantha 1972 Adventure, Drama