Job Actress
Years active 1933-1997
Known for Nosey neighbors, starchy schoolmarms, repressed spinsters, dowdy servants
Top Roles Miss Mary Stevens, Manager of McKittrick Hotel, Miss Davis, Miss McCardle, Mrs. McGonigle
Top GenresDrama, Comedy, Romance, Crime, Film Noir, Family
Top TopicsBook-Based, Romance (Comic), Christmas
Top Collaborators (Director), (Producer), (Director), (Producer)
Shares birthday with Tony Curtis, Paulette Goddard, Anthony Harvey  see more..

Ellen Corby Overview:

Character actress, Ellen Corby, was born Ellen Hansen on Jun 3, 1911 in Racine, WI. Corby died at the age of 87 on Apr 14, 1999 in Woodland Hills, CA .


After World War II Ellen Corby switched from being a script girl to being an actress and quickly cornered the market in nosey neighbors, bigoted townswomen, starchy schoolmarms, repressed spinsters and dowdy servants. Her tight dark hair and pinched features added character to dozens of films before she turned to television and became Grandma (and sometime scriptwriter) of The Waltons, a series for which she took two Emmy Awards to add to her Oscar nomination for I Remember Mama in 1948.
(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Character Actors).



Although Corby was nominated for one Oscar, she never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1948Best Supporting ActressI Remember Mama (1948)Aunt TrinaNominated

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Ellen Corby Quotes:

Mrs. McKenzie: If they're parishioners, the car's as good as gone.

Mrs. Madigan: Praying, was ye! What are ye, hollering hyenas? I thought you was Catholics! Ye'd better get down on yer knees and say yer prayers like decent Christians. Or else!

Miss Mary Stevens: [to Wesley] Now, do you know the difference between a proper and improper fraction? Wesley, if you don't pay attention you'll never learn.

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Best Supporting Actress Oscar 1948

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Ellen Corby Facts
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.

Returned for "The Waltons" (1971)' last show of the 1977-78 season.

She spent 12 years as a script assistant before becoming an actress.

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