Job Actress
Years active 1895-1976
Known for Widows, mothers, dowagers and grandmothers, who were usually practical types
Top Roles Ma Bailey, Ma Smith, Mrs. Greer, Aunt Mollie, Mrs. Alfred Davidson
Top GenresDrama, Romance, Comedy, Film Adaptation, Western, Historical
Top TopicsBook-Based, World War II, Based on Play
Top Collaborators (Producer), (Director), (Producer), (Director)
Shares birthday with Bing Crosby, Mary Astor, Virginia Vincent  see more..

Beulah Bondi Overview:

Legendary character actress, Beulah Bondi, was born Beulah Bondy on May 3, 1888 in Chicago, IL. Bondi appeared in over 85 film and TV roles. Her best known films include four in which she played James Stewart's mother: It's a Wonderful Life (1946), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Of Human Hearts (1938), and Vivacious Lady (1938). Another notable Bondi role was as Lucy Cooper, a mother abandoned by her children, in Leo McCarey's Depression-era melodrama Make Way for Tomorrow (1937). Bondi died at the age of 92 on Jan 11, 1981 in Woodland Hills, CA and was cremated and her ashes scattered at sea.


After a highly successful stage career, Beulah Bondi spent most of her Hollywood like playing widows, mothers, dowagers and grandmothers, who were usually practical types. Ironically however, in real life she never married.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Character Actors).



Although Bondi was nominated for two Oscars, she never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1936Best Supporting ActressThe Gorgeous Hussy (1936)Rachel JacksonNominated
1938Best Supporting ActressOf Human Hearts (1938)Mary WilkinsNominated

She was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures.

BlogHub Articles:

By Amanda Garrett on Dec 15, 2017 From Old Hollywood Films

Today, I'm writing about the life and career of character actor . This article is part of the What a Character Blogathon hosted by Outspoken & Freckled, Once Upon a Screen, and Paula's Cinema Club. Old Hollywood character actor appeared in around 50 movies during h... Read full article

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Beulah Bondi Quotes:

Rhoda Cooper: Why don't you face facts, Grandma?
Lucy Cooper: Oh, Rhoda!
[Pats her hand]
Lucy Cooper: When you're seventeen and the world's beautiful, facing facts is just as slick fun as dancing or going to partis, but when you're seventy... well, you don't care about dancing, you don't think about parties anymore, and about the only fun you have left is pretending that there ain't any facts to face, so would you mind if I just went on pretending?

Ma Bailey: [speaking of Mary Hatch] Why, she lights up like a firefly whenever you are around. Besides, Sam Wainright is off in New York, and you're here in Bedford Falls...
George Bailey: And all's fair in love and war, right?
Ma Bailey: [fixing his collar] Well, I don't know about war...

[Cherry apologizes for almost injuring Mrs. Medford]
Cherry Chester: If I ever did, I'd blow my brains out!
Mrs. Boyce Medford: I know. And then I'd have to tidy up afterward.

read more quotes from Beulah Bondi...

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Best Supporting Actress Oscar 1936

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Beulah Bondi on the
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Beulah Bondi Facts
Though she often played loving mothers and wives, she never married nor had children.

She changed the spelling of her name from Bondy to Bondi because her father disapproved of her chosen profession, i.e. acting.

Always said her greatest regret was being passed over for the role of Ma Joad in John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath (1940).

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