Irene Tedrow was an American character actress in stage, film, television and radio


Irene Tedrow (August 3, 1907 – March 10, 1995) was an American character actress in stage, film, television and radio. Among her most notable roles are Janet Archer in the radio series Meet Corliss Archer, Mrs. Lucy Elkins on the TV sitcom Dennis the Menace and Mrs. Webb in the stage production Our Town at the Plumstead Playhouse. Tedrow was born in Denver, Colorado. She earned a BA degree in drama from Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1929. She was a founding member of San Diego's Old Globe Theater and was cast as an ingénue in the beginning of her career. In 1934, she portrayed eighteen (18) characters in multiple adaptations of Shakespearean plays at The Old Globe during the Chicago Fair. She later joined Orson Welles' Mercury Theater. As she grew older, she found more work in films as the meddling old woman. However, she did have an intermittently recurring role as Mrs. Elkins on the Dennis the Menace television sitcom in the 1950s. As a character actor she appeared in many shows, including Jefferson Drum, Rawhide, The Twilight Zone and The Andy Griffith Show. In 1955, she appeared on The Jack Benny Program as a contestant with Jack Benny on a mock You Bet Your Life segment with Groucho Marx. She appeared on Broadway even through her eighties, in such productions as Our Town and Pygmalion. During the 1940s and 1950s, Tedrow had quality acting roles in radio productions. She played Dorothy Regent in the series Chandu the Magician, Alice Trimble on Jonathan Trimble, Esquire, Jessie Ward Calvert on the long-running radio program Aunt Mary and the title character's mother on Meet Corliss Archer. In the early 1960s, Tedrow made two guest appearances on Perry Mason, including the role of Amy Douglas in "The Case of the Ominous Outcast," and a role in Bonanza in the episode "Abner Willoughby's Return". Later she would also appear in Dundee and the Culhane, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Diff'rent Strokes, The Rockford Files and Facts of Life. In 1976, Tedrow played Mary Ludlow Hall, Eleanor Roosevelt's grandmother in Eleanor and Franklin. Her performance garnered her one of the first Primetime Emmy Award nominations for "Best Supporting Actress in a Television Comedy or Drama Special". In 1979, she received her second Emmy Award nomination for her role in James at 15. On March 10, 1995, Tedrow died of a stroke in Hollywood. Her grave is located at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. She was survived by her children, actress Enid Kent and Roger Kent and her three grandchildren

Gallery for vintage character actress Irene Tedrow

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