Marion Ross - Rotten Tomatoes

Marion Ross



Marian Ross dreamed of stardom from childhood, going so far as to change the spelling of her first name to Marion because she thought it would look nicer on a marquee. When her family moved from Minnesota to California, the 16-year-old aspiring actress plunged into the busy world of amateur theatricals in the San Diego area. She was voted Outstanding Actress at San Diego State University in 1950, then went on to work at the prestigious La Jolla Playhouse. Mel Ferrer, La Jolla's resident director, recommended that Ross try her luck in Hollywood. She worked steadily in TV and films from 1953 onward, but stardom was still outside her reach. Ross played a succession of maids, nuns, nurses, and that nebulous classification, the Heroine's Best Friend. She showed up in small roles in such films as Forever Female (1953), Lust for Life (1955), and Operation Petticoat (1959), earning the respect of her fellow workers but very little in the way of public recognition. "I've always had a way of not attracting attention," she would note with resignation later in life. On television, Marion played unstressed recurring roles on such series as Life with Father, Mrs. G Goes to College and Mr. Novak. She finally achieved stardom as Marion Cunningham, mother of 1950s high-schooler Richie Cunningham, on the weekly sitcom Happy Days. What started out as a shaky midseason replacement in January of 1974 ended up ABC's number-one hit; Ross hitched her wagon to the ever-rising Happy Days star until its final episode in 1983. During this period, she reactivated her stage career, with considerably more success than she'd enjoyed in the 1950s. Ross' post-Happy Days TV gigs included a 1986 guest shot as the new bride of Captain Stubing (Gavin MacLeod) on The Love Boat and the brief 1989 series Living Dolls. In 1991, Marion Ross earned an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of archetypal Jewish mother Sophie Berger on the TV "dramedy" Brooklyn Bridge. In the decades to come, Ross would find ongoing success with recurring roles on TV series like The Drew Carey Show and Gilmore Girls, as well as providing voice acting for animated series such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Handy Manny.

Photos

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet A Reason
  • Actor
2015
No Score Yet Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet A Perfect Christmas List
  • Evie
2014
No Score Yet Heebie Jeebies
  • Agnes Whitehead
2013
No Score Yet Dear Dracula
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet Keeping Up With The Randalls
  • Actor
2011
No Score Yet Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster
  • Hilda Trowburg
2010
No Score Yet Flower Girl
  • Rose Dumont
2009
17% Superhero Movie
  • Aunt Lucille Adams
2008
65% Smiley Face
  • Shirley
2007
No Score Yet Where There's a Will
  • Leslie Clyde Onstott
2006
23% Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star
  • Herself
2003
No Score Yet The Last Best Sunday
  • Mrs. Larksmont
1999
No Score Yet My Other Mother
  • Actor
1999
No Score Yet About Sarah
  • Rose
1998
No Score Yet Ken Follett's 'The Third Twin'
  • Lila Ferrami
1997
23% The Evening Star
  • Rosie Dunlop
1996
No Score Yet Hidden in Silence
  • Mrs. Diamant
1996
No Score Yet Just Like Us
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet The Survival of Dana
  • Actor
1979
25% Grand Theft Auto
  • Vivian Hedgeworth
1977
No Score Yet Honky
  • Mrs. Divine
1971
88% Colossus: The Forbin Project
  • Angela Fields
1970
80% Some Came Running
  • Sister Mary Joseph
1959
84% Operation Petticoat
  • Lt. Ruth Colfax
1959
83% Teacher's Pet
  • Katy Fuller
1958
No Score Yet Lizzie
  • Ruth Seaton
1958
No Score Yet Steve Canyon
  • Actor
1958
100% Lust for Life
  • Sister Clothilde
1956
91% Sabrina
  • Spiller's Girl
1954
80% Pushover
  • Young Woman
1954
No Score Yet Secret of the Incas
  • Miss Morris (uncredited)
1954
No Score Yet Forever Female
  • Patty
1954
88% The Glenn Miller Story
  • Polly Haynes
1953

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Two and a Half Men
2003-2015
  • Margaret
No Score Yet Children's Hospital
2010
  • Actor
No Score Yet The New Adventures of Old Christine
2006-2010
  • Agnes
No Score Yet Gilmore Girls
2000-2016
  • Lorelai `Trix' Gilmore Trix "Gran" Gilmore Marilyn
No Score Yet The Exes
2011-2015
  • Actor
75% Chasing Life
2014-2015
  • Actor
No Score Yet The Odd Couple
2015
  • Edna
No Score Yet The Boondocks
2005-2014
  • Voice
71% Grey's Anatomy
2005
  • Betty
No Score Yet Brothers & Sisters
2006-2011
  • Ida Holden
No Score Yet Major Crimes
2012
  • Actor
21% Anger Management
2012
  • Dr. Murphy
No Score Yet Family Guy
1999
  • Voice
No Score Yet American Experience
1988
  • Voice
84% Nurse Jackie
2009-2015
  • Renata
No Score Yet The Middle
2009
  • Ms. Dunlap
71% Up All Night
2011-2013
  • Actor

Quotes from Marion Ross' Characters