Racine, Wisconsin, USA
Place of Death
Woodland Hills, California, USA
Salt and Pepper
Claim to Fame
Profile Bio Text
Ellen Corby was born Ellen Hansen on June 3, 1911, in Racine, Wisconsin. She began her career as a bit player in the film Speed Limited (1935) in 1940. Ellen would not be seen on the big screen again until 1945 in Cornered (1945). In 1946, she appeared in 14 films, although mostly in small, minor roles. One of them was in the Christmas classic It`s a Wonderful Life (1946). One of the highlights of her career came about in 1948 in I Remember Mama (1948) as Aunt Trina. Ellen garnered a nomination for Best Supporting Actress, which was ultimately won by Claire Trevor in Key Largo (1948). The Oscar nomination didn`t send her to the heights she had hoped. This wonderful actress continued in roles that were mostly minor compared to some of her contemporaries. However, it was television where she would receive the acclaim that had eluded her on the screen. Time after time she played parts that was absolutely outstanding. One of the funniest was as Myrt "Hubcaps" Lesh in "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960). She was the ringleader of a gang that stole cars and then sold them, and she sold Barney Fife a stolen car that turned out to be a real lemon. The series that brought her worldwide recognition, though, was the highly acclaimed "The Waltons" (1972) as Esther "Grandma" Walton. The role got her Emmy awards in 1973, 1974, and 1975. Although a stroke in 1977 slowed her down, Ellen still made appearances on the series. Her last TV appearance was in 1997 in the TV movie A Walton Easter (1997) (TV). On April 14, 1999, Ellen died at the Motion Picture & Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. She was 87 years old.
Couple Profile Source
Full Name at Birth
Actor/Actress, Writer, Other Crew
Has Detailed Data (New)
Cause of Death
Ellen Hansen Corby (June 3, 1911 – April 14, 1999) was an American actress. She is most widely remembered for the role of "Grandma Esther Walton" on the CBS television series The Waltons, for which she won three Emmy Awards. She was also nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as Aunt Trina in I Remember Mama.
Wiki Bio Text
Biography by Hal Erickson [-]
By the time she first appeared as Grandma Walton in 1971, American actress Ellen Corby had been playing elderly characters for nearly thirty years--and she herself was still only in her fifties. The daughter of Danish immigrants, Ellen Hansen was born in Wisconsin and raised in Philadelphia; she moved to Hollywood in 1933 after winning several amateur talent shows. Her starring career consisted of tiny parts in low-budget Poverty Row quickies; to make a living, Ellen became a script girl (the production person responsible for maintaining a film's continuity for the benefit of the film editor), working first at RKO and then at Hal Roach studios, where she met and married cameraman Francis Corby. The marriage didn't last, though Ellen retained the last name of Corby professionally. While still a script girl, Ellen began studying at the Actors Lab, then in 1944 decided to return to acting full time. She played several movie bit roles, mostly as servants, neurotics, and busybodies, before earning an Oscar nomination for the role of Trina the maid in I Remember Mama (1948). Her career fluctuated between bits and supporting parts until 1971, when she was cast as Grandma Walton in the CBS movie special The Homecoming. This one-shot evolved into the dramatic series The Waltons in 1972, with Ms. Corby continuing as Grandma. The role earned Ellen a "Best Supporting Actress" Emmy award in 1973, and she remained with the series until suffering a debilitating stroke in 1976. After a year's recuperation, Ellen returned to The Waltons, valiantly carrying on until the series' 1980 cancellation, despite the severe speech and movement restrictions imposed by her illness. Happily, Ellen Corby endured, and was back as Grandma in the Waltons reunion special of the early '90s.
Posted by DOUGLAS J. KIRKHAM over a year ago
Who is the most searched actor and actress on your website?
Posted by jay over a year ago
where can I buy pictures of IMAN?
Posted by Barbara Westleintg over a year ago
I have a daughter-in-law who dearly loves you (as do I). I would to give he...
Posted by elvisdreamer over a year ago
you are so gorgeous. looked fabulous on the fallon show,inthe white dress, ...