Ellen Corby was an American actress known for her long and distinguished career in film and television. She was born on June 3, 1911, in Racine, Wisconsin, USA, and passed away on April 14, 1999, in Woodland Hills, California, USA.
Corby's acting career began in the 1930s when she appeared in small roles in films and on stage. She gained recognition for her work as a character actress, often portraying eccentric or humorous characters.
One of Corby's most famous roles came in the long-running TV series "The Waltons," which aired from 1972 to 1981. She played the role of Esther "Grandma" Walton, the matriarch of the Walton family, earning critical acclaim and popularity for her portrayal.
In addition to "The Waltons," Ellen Corby made numerous guest appearances in various TV shows throughout her career. She was a versatile actress and showcased her talent in a wide range of genres.
For her performance in "The Waltons," Corby received three Primetime Emmy Award nominations, winning the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1973.
Outside of her acting career, Ellen Corby was a writer and director, and she co-wrote the film "The Homecoming: A Christmas Story," which served as the pilot for "The Waltons" TV series.
Ellen Corby's contributions to the entertainment industry and her iconic role as Grandma Walton have left a lasting impact. She is remembered as a talented and versatile actress whose work continues to be appreciated by audiences of all generations.
1. Early Career: Before becoming an actress, Ellen Corby worked as a script supervisor and assistant director in Hollywood.
2. Accident and Recovery: In 1956, Corby suffered a severe stroke, which temporarily affected her ability to speak and move. Through determination and therapy, she made a remarkable recovery and resumed her acting career.
3. "The Andy Griffith Show": Ellen Corby appeared in three different roles on "The Andy Griffith Show" before being cast as Grandma Walton in "The Waltons."
4. Academy Award Nomination: Corby received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film "I Remember Mama" (1948).
5. Golden Age of Television: Ellen Corby was part of the "Golden Age of Television," and she made numerous appearances in popular TV shows of the 1950s and 1960s.
6. Scriptwriting Skills: In addition to co-writing "The Homecoming: A Christmas Story," which inspired "The Waltons," Corby wrote several episodes for the series.
7. Real-Life Challenges: Ellen Corby's real-life accident and health struggles were written into the storyline of "The Waltons," and her character, Grandma Walton, faced similar challenges.
8. Emmy Wins: In addition to her Emmy win for "The Waltons," Corby won another Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for "The DuPont Show of the Month" in 1957.
9. Native American Heritage: Ellen Corby was of Native American descent, with roots in the Oneida Nation.
10. Voice Acting: In addition to her on-screen roles, Corby provided her voice for animated TV shows like "The Flintstones" and "The Smurfs."
Ellen Corby's talent, resilience, and contributions to the entertainment industry have left a lasting legacy. Her role as Grandma Walton in "The Waltons" remains one of her most beloved and remembered performances.