Legendary character actress, Spring Byington, was born on Oct 17, 1886 in Colorado Springs, CO. Byington appeared in over 115 film and television roles. Her best known films include Little Women (as Marmee), The Devil and Miss Jones (as Elizabeth) and You Can't Take It with You (as Peggy Sycamore). In 1952 she starred the on radio as everyone's favorite mother-in-law, Lily Ruskin, in the popular sitcom, December Bride -- followed by a 5-season run (1954-1959) of the hit television series of the same name. From 1961 to 1963, Byington starred as matronly housekeeper, Daisy Cooper, in the Western TV series Laramie. Byington died at the age of 84 on Sep 7, 1971 in Hollywood, CA .
From the moment Spring Byington appeared on screen as Marmee in Little Women (1933, feature film debut), there was no competition for the title of Hollywood's favorite mother. That, and her bewitching sense of comedy, kept her in dozens of similar roles from the mid-thirties to the early fifties. Strangely, this queen of homely matriarchs (she began on stage in 1900) was a divorcee who never re-married.(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Character Actors).
HONORS and AWARDS:.
Although Byington was nominated for one Oscar, she never won a competitive Academy Award.
|1938||Best Supporting Actress||You Can't Take It with You (1938)||Penny Sycamore||Nominated|
She was honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the categories of Television and Motion Pictures.
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Mrs. Dexter: There was religion long before there was music.
Marmee March: So you're going to Washington?
Elderly man: Yes, ma'am; my son is sick in the hospital there.
Marmee March: Oh, this will be an anxious Christmas for you.
Marmee March: [finding him a coat] I think this one will do; let's try this. Is it your only son?
Elderly man: No, ma'am. I had four; two were killed, one is a prisoner.
Marmee March: [deeply moved] You've done a great deal for your country, sir.
Elderly man: Oh, not a mite more than I ought, ma'am. I'd go myself if I was any use. Thank you for the overcoat.
Marmee March: Wait a minute...
Marmee March: [giving him some money] I hope you find him better.
Elderly man: Thank you, ma'am. God bless you; merry Christmas. Merry Christmas!
Marmee March: Merry Christmas!
Mrs. Marshall: You haven't changed, Mary. Not at all.
Mary Marshall: Thank you, Aunt Sarah. Oh, it's so good to be here.
Mrs. Marshall: I'm so glad to have you with us, dear. Awfully glad. Barbara, come on down! You can share Barbara's room.
Mary Marshall: Oh, dear, I don't want to disturb anybody. I, don't ...
Mrs. Marshall: Oh, nonsense. Barbara will love to have you. Here, for heaven's sake, give me your coat. Anyway, it's the guest room, or it was before Barbara was born. Besides, I think it would be a very good thing for Barbara. She's seventeen.
Mary Marshall: Seventeen?
Mrs. Marshall: And she's pretty, spoiled, and at an age, oh, you know. I think an older girl will be a very good thing for her right now. Like you. Yes, like you. Now, there's a million things to talk about, but first you want to wash up.
Barbara Marshall: [coming downstairs] Hello, Mary. I'm awfully glad to see you.
Mary Marshall: Hello, Barbara. Why, I never would have known you. She's grown into a beauty.
Barbara Marshall: Welcome home.
Mrs. Marshall: Take Mary up to your room, dear.
Barbara Marshall: Follow me, lady, to my boudoir. Although it's small, not much bigger than a cell. Oh, I'm sorry, Mary.
Mary Marshall: Look, there's just one thing. We all know that I've been in prison, and I'm going back in eight days. And there's no use pretending it isn't so. It just won't be any good unless everybody says what he thinks, and doesn't try to cover up.
Mrs. Marshall: Oh, you're a fine girl, Mary. Now go up and see your room.
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