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FloydDBarber

Irene Ryan

17 posts in this topic

I'll see you 10 Patsy Kelly's for one Irene Ryan.

She was the best comedic actress hands down, I would say funnier than Joan Davis and even Lucy.

What a believable character Granny was.

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I think that had just as much to do with Paul Henning's writing...but yes, she was good.

 

Are you familiar with her filmography? She had several small supporting roles in films in the 50s, before her great television success in the 60s.

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I only ever saw one movie that I can recall with Irene Ryan, the virtually unknown "San Diego, I Love You" and that part was more straight than anything else. The other films I recognize in her catalog were more dramas. Who would have thought....?

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Well, I like Irene Ryan, but I wouldn't go that far! I think there are similarities in many TV "old ladies," from Elizabeth Patterson as Mrs. Trumble (I Love Lucy) and Gertrude Hoffmann as Mrs. Odets (My Little Margie), to Granny to Estelle Getty as Sophia on Golden Girls.

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People don't realize that a lot of classic TV stars began as character actors in movies.

 

Frances Bavier, a.k.a. Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show was an employee of Universal-International for many years in the 50s, often turning up as a kind old woman in their westerns (I guess they thought she had a convincing pioneer look).

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> {quote:title=PrinceSaliano wrote:}{quote}

> I loved Irene Ryan as Granny. A 1960s TV icon if there ever was one.

 

I totally agree!!! I actually really love watching "The Beverly Hillbillies"! Funny show!

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I had a chance to see Irene Ryan on Broadway in Bob Fosse's musical PIPPIN back in 1972 and while it wasn't a huge part, she stole the show. Sadly she suffered a stroke during a performance the next year and died.

 

Her's a link to an audio recording of her doing her number in PIPPIN and a bunch of photos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_uHZggFS8U

 

Enjoy!

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Mark,

 

I remember her doing that number on either the Mike Douglas show or with Merv. *Pippin* was one of my favorite cast albums back in the day. Living in Las Vegas, I never stood a chance to see the play but Irene Ryan, Ben Vereen and John Rubinstein all made the rounds of the afternoon talk shows and all performed musical numbers from the show.

 

I still remember Ben Vereen singing "Magic to Do" on the Mike Douglas show. I had seen the film *Sweet Charity* but this was a different kind of Fosse. At least for me.

 

That was followed by seeing Gwen Verdon and Jerry Orbach on the shows doing numbers from *Chicago* .

 

For the record, Irene Ryan was quite the comedienne. She played the Las Vegas Strip throughout the 1950s.

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> {quote:title=MyFavoriteFilms wrote:}{quote}

> Frances Bavier, a.k.a. Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show was an employee of Universal-International for many years in the 50s, often turning up as a kind old woman in their westerns (I guess they thought she had a convincing pioneer look).

 

Not always kind--she played a quasi-Ma Barker on an episode of THE LONE RANGER. That episode also featured a "Sheriff Taylor" character.

 

Irene Ryan and director Richard Whorf were nominated twice each for Emmys for their work on THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES. The series' only other nomination for a cast member went to Nancy Kulp.

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I was referring to Frances Bavier's film work, not her television appearances. In particular, her period as part of the Universal-International stock company. She appears in BEND OF THE RIVER, SALLY AND SAINT ANNE and HORIZONS WEST...usually as the sweet middle-aged woman.

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I remember seeing her in "Pippin" on Broadway in 1972, she sang "No Time at All". Sadly she suffered a stroke while in the show and passed away in 1973. When she died she had no living relatives and bequeathed her estste of over one milliom dollars to Irene Ryan Foundation for Arts Students with the Kennedy Center's American Collage Theater Festival.. She had toured with Bob Hope during WW2...Quite a gal.....

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Irene Ryan was married to Tim Ryan. They had a vaudeville act Tim & Irene. They appeared in several shorts and then a few Monogram features (including the iconic THE SULTAN'S DAUGHTER). Tim wound up having a long-term contract at Monogram as an actor and screenwriter. Irene was a terrific eccentric dancer.

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That's nice to know...obviously a lot of training and hard work went into her performances...so by the time she gets to Granny, the role of a lifetime, she has all these experiences to draw from in order to delight TV audiences.

 

I agree with the poster who drew a comparison to Estelle Getty...Estelle also had many years of theatre under her belt before TV beckoned.

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One can catch a glimpse of Irene in a night club scene from "The Mighty Joe Young." She's one of the gal's at the bar. Irene was a rarity in show business, having become a smash hit late in life. It's one of those phenomenas that comes around once in the lifetime, surrounding the whole aura of show business. No matter what the mainstream critics of television, continue on to say about the mediocrity of "The Beverly Hillbillies," the program remains as popular today as it was when first aired in 1962. Irene is today, truly an icon to that time, when television entertainment was simplistic and not so complicated. Aside from the success she gained from the program, she made scores of personal appearances, becoming a popular fixture on the state fair circuit across the country. Irene would never have to look back on what had once been something of a routine career. She entered the big leagues of show business, late in life with an impressive resume that allowed her to display the versatility that many have, but usually don't get that one little chance to exhibit.

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I was fortunate to have tuned into TCM one day when the station was playing some obscure movies from the early 1940's. I was watching and I heard Irene's voice coming from a very attractive woman of about 39 or 40 years of age. It didn't take too long to recognize the facial features. Bless you TCM for allowing me to see another side of Irene.

 

Another reason I like her so much is that the granny character is not just a middle aged woman in heavy make-up. The character is totally believable. It's as if Irene WAS granny.

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I don't know if this film was mentioned yet in the thread...

 

MY DEAR SECRETARY is on DVD and it features Irene Ryan. From the review I read, she sings a song in it...the film is a romantic comedy (starring Kirk Douglas and Laraine Day) from 1949. It's available thru Netflix and is for sale on Amazon for about $10.00 U.S.

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