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Supporting Actresses: Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunts, Matrons


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This is my favorite part of this site: trivia. It's just a lot of fun. So many original and fun ones here, guys! Most of us know many of the leading actors/actresses. It's the supporting ones that are sometimes challenging.

Right now I am concentrating on older women, most of whom inevitably played mothers and the like. Few of these women won awards. Most never played leading roles. Very often they were accomplished English stage actresses before coming to Hollywood in the '30s and '40s. They played the same kind of roles over and over. I can think of a dozen without trying hard, and I'm sure there are many more. I love these women!

Here's my trivia game idea. I thought I'd run this idea up the pole and see if anyone here salutes: Briefly describe the character and the movie as the clue. Then, someone name the actress and the movie.

I'll give a few examples to see if I can get some brains moving in the direction I'm thinking about. If this proves to be fun for anyone we can next do men of the same age and type. Then, children.

 

Okay, here goes:

 

*Clue*: Bette Davis' tyrannical mother who causes her nervous breakdown

*Answer*: Gladys Cooper in *Now, Voyager*

 

*Clue*: Katherine Hepburn's Aunt in this often-remade movie. She pretends to be mean but is kind to her family.

*Answer*: Edna May Oliver in *Little Women* 1933

 

I'll do a couple more in context, to give the idea...

 

*Clue*: Strict but kind mother of 12-year-old Elizabeth Taylor. The role that sent Miss Taylor into stardom.

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Thanks. There was an actress who usually played a mean old biddie, sometimes with names like Miranda, Marilla, or Minnie. It seemed as if all of the other characters were always afraid of her. Once in a while she showed that she had a heart of gold, but that was rare. She made a couple of movies with Randolph Scott. She was nice in one and mean in the other. Who is she?

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This old lady is kinda my favorite one in this category.

 

She played Kate Hepburn's aunt. She played Janet Gaynor's Grandmother. She played Franchot Tone's Grandmother.

 

There you have it--3 different Top Classics from the 1930's.

 

She is________________.

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Mr. 6 how about Franchot Tone's mother in "Dancing Lady"?

I can still May Robson's face when she first saw that Baby, the leopard.

 

Mr. 6--how's about another one?

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Nobody thinks of this sexy lady today as the mother type, but she also had a career playing them.

 

Usually her mother rolls were very upstanding and beautiful, but once she played the truly beastly mother of all time.

 

Hint--she played Judy's mother twice.

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Maybe I like the view! By the way, Mary Astor also played Margaret O'Brien's mother twice. Now:

 

This actress played mothers, grandmothers, and aunts almost exclusively. She was British and had been in some English silents before coming to the U.S. in the thirties. She was in both a Tom Sawyer and a Huckleberry Finn movie with different casts. She played mothers and aunts of people like Claudette Colbert, Priscilla Lane, Joan Leslie, Dick Haymes, and Barbara Hale. She was in all sorts of movies, including westerns. She was actually spanked by Gabby Hayes in one film. She was in a drama with Lucille Ball. Yes, Lucy actually did some dramatic work. She was in a movie shown on TCM a few months ago where she played a schoolteacher who writes a song that becomes a hit for one the big bands of the day. She was also a regular in the "Mexican Spitfire" series. That should be enough to go on. Who is this actress?

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