Job Actress
Years active 1904-1968
Known for Moms and matriarchs, bewildered parents, snooty socialites
Top Roles Mrs. Kendrick, Penny Sycamore, Mrs. Byam, Marmee, Sister Edwitha
Top GenresComedy, Drama, Romance, Musical, Film Adaptation, Adventure
Top TopicsBook-Based, Based on Play, Romance (Comic)
Top Collaborators (Producer), (Producer), (Director),
Shares birthday with Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth, Montgomery Clift  see more..

Spring Byington Overview:

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).



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

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1938Best Supporting ActressYou Can't Take It with You (1938)Penny SycamoreNominated

She was honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the categories of Television and Motion Pictures.

BlogHub Articles:

It might as well be Spring (Byington)

By L? on Dec 16, 2018 From Critica Retro

It might as well be Spring (Byington) Ela podia ser a vizinha enxerida por?m am?vel. Ela podia ser uma amiga carinhosa. Ela podia ser uma duquesa ou uma dama – ou mesmo uma empregada. Ela podia ser a forte e cuidadosa matriarca – um papel que ela interpretou v?rias vezes, e que... Read full article

What does Rita Hayworth, Montgomery Clift and have in Common?

By Dawn on Oct 17, 2010 From Noir and Chick Flicks

Well... it is their Birthday! :) Rita Hayworth (October 17, 1918 – May 14, 1987), Film actress and dancer who became famous in the 1940s not only as one of the era's top stars, but also as a great sex symbol. Rita, is best known for her performance in the film, Gilda (1946). List o... Read full article

It might as well be Spring (Byington)

By L? on Nov 30, -0001 From Critica Retro

It might as well be Spring (Byington) Ela podia ser a vizinha enxerida por?m am?vel. Ela podia ser uma amiga carinhosa. Ela podia ser uma duquesa ou uma dama – ou mesmo uma empregada. Ela podia ser a forte e cuidadosa matriarca – um papel que ela interpretou v?rias vezes, e que... Read full article

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Spring Byington Quotes:

Mrs. Marshall: You must have been looking forward to it, Mary.
Mary Marshall: I was looking forward to seeing you, Aunt Sarah.
Mrs. Marshall: Oh, that's sweet of you, dear.
Mary Marshall: As a matter of fact, selfish. I've been doing a lot of thinking in the past three years, Aunt Sarah, and...
Mrs. Marshall: What sort of things were you thinking, Mary?
Mary Marshall: Coming out into the world and... Even coming here, I had a feeling that ...
Mrs. Marshall: Honey, you've got to stop being afraid. You've got to stop feeling that you're branded like people were in the old days. You've done something. You're paying your debt to society. Most people are willing to let it go at that.
Mary Marshall: I know, Aunt Sarah, but coming out into the world and seeing everybody in uniform, everybody doing something... I just don't belong. I don't fit in. And dreams that I've had for the future are just impossible.
Mrs. Marshall: Well, most dreams are, Mary. It's just the dreaming that counts. Nobody gets exactly what he wants out of life. One of the first things you learn is to make compromises with your dreams.
Mary Marshall: But I'm not talking about palaces and rainbows, Aunt Sarah. I'm talking about a home. A home like this with a kitchen and a stove and an icebox, and a husband, and a child.
Mrs. Marshall: Yes, I have all that. Yet I used to dream about palaces and rainbows.
Mary Marshall: But you're happy.
Mrs. Marshall: Of course. Because I didn't hold out for too much. I accepted what I thought was second best and made that do. Oh, it's something that everybody learns sooner or later. You have to get used to accepting what you think is second best, and then you find out it's first best after all.

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.

Marcia West: This Aunt Ella Paisley!
Aunt Ella: [Grabbing his hand] Oh, Mr. Underwood! That hand! That Hand! That love line, and that mound of Venus. You'll be married once. Heaven help the poor girl, the lucky thing.

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Best Supporting Actress Oscar 1938

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Spring Byington Facts
Spring and Lionel Barrymore were initially cast as Ma and Pa Hardy in the Andy Hardy film series starring Mickey Rooney. MGM decided to replace the couple, however, with Fay Holden and Lewis Stone before the series started.

She performed in reference footage for Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty (1959).

Appeared in the 'Jones Family' series, 1936-1940.

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