In March of 2000, she was left out of the yearly "In Memoriam" segment of the The 72nd Annual Academy Awards (2000) (TV). Ellen, who was once nominated for an Oscar for her Supporting Role in I Remember Mama (1948), had really only played small bit parts in motion pictures for twenty years, before she became majorly noticed on television's "The Waltons" (1971). The Academy chose instead to memorialize another small bit part actor in films, Henry Jones.
Replaced Jessica Tandy as Aunt Trina in I Remember Mama (1948) after Tandy dropped out of the project in order to pursue A Woman's Vengeance (1948).
Returned for "The Waltons" (1971)' last show of the 1977-78 season.
She spent 12 years as a script assistant before becoming an actress.
Suffered a serious stroke in 1976.