Ellen Corby

Ellen Corby

Highest Rated: 100% On Moonlight Bay (1951)

Lowest Rated: 11% Four for Texas (1963)

Birthday: Jun 3, 1911

Birthplace: Not Available

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.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet A Day for Thanks on Waltons' Mountain Grandma Walton 1982
No Score Yet The Waltons Esther Walton 1973
No Score Yet Napoleon and Samantha Gertrude 1972
No Score Yet The Waltons The Children's Carol Director Actor 1972
No Score Yet The Homecoming: A Christmas Story Grandma 1971
62% Support Your Local Gunfighter Abigail 1971
No Score Yet A Tattered Web Mrs. Simmons 1971
No Score Yet Angel in My Pocket Older Woman 1969
No Score Yet The Legend of Lylah Clare Script Girl 1968
No Score Yet The Gnome-Mobile Etta Pettibone 1967
57% The Glass Bottom Boat Anna 1966
No Score Yet The Night of the Grizzly Hazel Squires 1966
67% The Ghost and Mr. Chicken Miss Tremaine 1966
80% The Family Jewels Plane Passenger 1965
81% Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte Town Gossip 1964
No Score Yet The Strangler Mrs. Kroll 1964
11% Four for Texas Widow 1963
No Score Yet The Caretakers Irene 1963
No Score Yet Saintly Sinners Mrs. McKenzie 1962
56% Pocketful of Miracles Soho Sal 1961
No Score Yet Macabre Mrs. Kushins 1958
95% Vertigo Hotel Proprietor 1958
No Score Yet Night Passage Mrs. Feeney 1957
No Score Yet The Seventh Sin Sister St. Joseph 1957
No Score Yet Slightly Scarlet Martha 1956
No Score Yet All Mine to Give Mrs. Raiden 1956
No Score Yet Illegal Miss Hinkel 1955
92% Sabrina Miss McCardle 1954
No Score Yet About Mrs. Leslie Mrs. Croffman 1954
43% Susan Slept Here Waitress 1954
No Score Yet The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters Amelia 1954
97% Shane Mrs. Torrey 1953
No Score Yet A Lion Is in the Streets Singing Woman 1953
No Score Yet The Big Trees Mrs. Blackburn 1952
No Score Yet Angels in the Outfield Sister Veronica 1951
60% Here Comes the Groom Mrs. McGonigle 1951
100% On Moonlight Bay Miss Stevens 1951
No Score Yet The Mating Season Annie 1951
No Score Yet Goodbye, My Fancy Miss Birdeshaw 1951
No Score Yet Harriet Craig Lottie 1950
No Score Yet Edge of Doom Mrs. Moore 1950
No Score Yet Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town Emily 1950
No Score Yet Caged Emma 1950
No Score Yet Madame Bovary Felicite 1949
50% The Dark Past Agnes 1949
71% Little Women Sophie 1949
43% A Woman's Secret Nurse 1949
95% Mighty Joe Young Nurse at Orphanage 1949
No Score Yet Fighting Father Dunne Colpeck's Secretary 1948
No Score Yet The Noose Hangs High Miss Van Buren's Maid 1948
100% I Remember Mama Aunt Trina 1948
No Score Yet If You Knew Susie Woman 1948
11% Forever Amber Marge 1947
No Score Yet They Won't Believe Me Screaming Woman 1947
80% Born to Kill 2nd Maid 1947
No Score Yet Driftwood Actor 1947
94% It's a Wonderful Life Miss Davis 1946
No Score Yet The Locket Kitchen Girl 1946
No Score Yet Sister Kenny Nurse 1946
No Score Yet Crack-Up Maid 1946
No Score Yet Till the End of Time Mrs. Sumpter 1946
100% The Dark Corner Maid 1946
No Score Yet From This Day Forward Mother 1946
86% The Spiral Staircase Neighbor 1946
89% Bedlam Queen of the Artichokes 1946
No Score Yet Cuban Pete Screaming Patient 1946
No Score Yet Cornered French Maid 1945
No Score Yet Twilight on the Trail Screenwriter 1941


No Score Yet The Waltons
Screenwriter Esther Walton Grandma Walton Esther `Grandma' Walton 1980
No Score Yet Night Gallery
Miss Patience 1972
No Score Yet The Odd Couple
Florence 1971
No Score Yet Ironside
Gladys Prescott 1969
93% Batman
Mrs. Green 1968
No Score Yet Get Smart
Agnes 1966
No Score Yet The Fugitive
Mrs. Barlow Mrs. Murdock 1966
No Score Yet The Beverly Hillbillies
Poke 1965
No Score Yet The Andy Griffith Show
Myrt Lesch 1963
No Score Yet Bonanza
Lorna Doone Mayberry Cora 1963
No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Miss Aman Maggie Flynn Emma Mrs. McGurk 1960
No Score Yet Perry Mason
Old Lady Gambler 1959
No Score Yet I Love Lucy
Miss Hanna 1956


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