irene ryan actress

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Irene Ryan Actress

Irene Ryan Actress, born under the name Irene Noblitt, Noblett, or Noblette on October 17, 1902, in El Paso, Texas, was an American actress and comedian renowned for her diverse career spanning vaudeville, radio, film, television, and Broadway. Her most famous role was as Daisy May “Granny” Moses, the mother-in-law of Jed Clampett, played by Buddy Ebsen, in the popular TV series “The Beverly Hillbillies” (1962–1971). For this role, she received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1963 and 1964.

The second child of Catherine J. “Katie” (nee McSharry) and James Merritt Noblitt,  Irene Ryan Actress was born to an army sergeant father from North Carolina and an Irish immigrant mother. She was significantly younger than her sister, Anna, by 17 years.

At the age of 20, Irene married Tim Ryan, a writer-comedian. Together, they formed a vaudeville duo, performing a “Dumb Dora” act reminiscent of George Burns and Gracie Allen. Professionally known as “Tim and Irene” (formally billed as Tim Ryan and Irene Noblette), they starred in 11 short comedies produced by Educational Pictures between 1935 and 1937. These films often highlighted their vaudevillian banter, with  Irene Ryan Actress playing the role of a whimsical young woman who often frustrated Tim. Their act included Tim’s frequently used line, “Will you stop?”, which became both a catchphrase and the title of one of their short films. In 1936, the duo also substituted for Jack Benny, starring in The Jell-o Summer Show on NBC’s Red Network.

El Paso, Texas, U.S

El Paso, Texas, U.S

Name

Date of Birth

Birth of Place

Died

Death Place

Profession

Nationality

Career

1st Spouses

Reltionship

2st Spouses

Reltionship

Irene Noblitt, Noblett

October 17, 1902

El Paso, Texas, U.S.

April 26, 1973

Santa Monica, California, U.S.

Actress , comedian

U.S [3]

 1913–1973

Tim Ryan

​(m. 1922; div. 1942)

Harold E. Knox

(m. 1946; div. 1961)

Career

Ryan initiated her performing career at the young age of 11, earning $3 (equivalent to about $90.97 in current value) for her rendition of “Pretty Baby” in an amateur contest at Valencia Theater in San Francisco.

By the age of 20, she had married Tim Ryan, a writer-comedian. The couple formed a vaudeville duo, performing a “Dumb Dora” act, similar in style to the renowned George Burns and Gracie Allen. They were known on stage as “Tim and Irene” (officially billed as Tim Ryan and Irene Noblette) and headlined 11 short comedy films for Educational Pictures from 1935 to 1937. These films often showcased their vaudevillian banter, with  Irene Ryan Actress playing the scatterbrained young woman who constantly baffled Tim. Their catchphrase, “Will you stop?”, became so popular it was used as the title for one of their short films. In 1936, substituting for Jack Benny, they starred in The Jell-o Summer Show on NBC’s Red Network.

The Ryans, who had no children, divorced in 1942.  Irene Ryan Actress retained the Ryan surname and went on to tour with Bob Hope, also appearing on his radio show for two years. She played the role of Edgar Kennedy’s wife in two RKO short films in 1943 and appeared in the country music film “O, My Darling Clementine” that same year.

During 1943, Tim Ryan had established himself as a character actor in films. Monogram Pictures brought the duo back together for four feature films, with the last being the 1944 musical “Hot Rhythm,” featuring Dona Drake.

In 1946, Irene married Harold E. Knox, who worked in film production, but they divorced in 1961 without having children.  Irene Ryan Actress  continued her acting career in films into the late 1940s and early 1950s, often portraying fussy or anxious characters. She also joined the cast of The Jack Carson Show on CBS Radio in 1946, playing the owner of a candy shop and lending library. Her television debut came in January 1955 on an episode of the CBS series The Danny Thomas Show. She worked with Walter Brennan in a 1959 episode of The Real McCoys on ABC and appeared in three episodes of the CBS sitcom Bringing Up Buddy as Cynthia Boyle in the 1960-1961 season. In 1962, she guest-starred in My Three Sons as Rusty Wallace and appeared in the CBS sitcom Ichabod and Me. In 1966, Ryan was a celebrity guest on the game show Password.

The Beverly Hillbillies

In 1962,  Irene Ryan Actress  landed the role that would become her most famous: Daisy “Granny” Moses in the television series “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Interestingly, Ryan was only about five and a half years older than her on-screen son-in-law, Jed Clampett, played by Buddy Ebsen. The character of Granny was a tribute to the renowned folk artist Anna Mary Robertson, known as “Grandma” Moses, who had started her painting career later in life and passed away at 101 the year before.

The casting of Granny initially had Bea Benaderet in mind, according to Filmways publicist Ted Switzer. However, the series creator and producer, Paul Henning, was thoroughly impressed when Ryan auditioned for the role. Her transformation with her hair in a bun and displaying a spirited attitude captivated everyone. Al Simon, the executive producer, along with Henning, were so struck by her audition that they immediately declared, “That’s Granny!” Even Benaderet, upon seeing Ryan’s audition, agreed that she was perfect for the role, leading to Benaderet being cast as Jed Clampett’s cousin, Pearl Bodine, instead.

Irene Ryan further showcased her comedic talents in 1966, starring in the comedy film “Don’t Worry, We’ll Think of a Title.” She appeared alongside Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam, adding another notable performance to her career portfolio.  Irene Ryan Actress

Stage & Club

In 1972, Ryan took on the role of Berthe in the Broadway musical “Pippin,” directed by Bob Fosse. Her performance included the memorable song “No Time at All.” This performance was captured in a unique live recording that combined audio with still photographs.

Earlier, in 1965, Ryan had committed to a two-year engagement at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, marking a significant period in her career.  Irene Ryan Actress

Personal life

Irene Ryan, who would later become known as Ryan, was born under the name Irene Noblitt, Noblett, or Noblette on October 17, 1902, in El Paso, Texas. She was the younger of two children, with her sister Anna being 17 years her senior, to parents Catherine J. “Katie” (née McSharry) and James Merritt Noblitt. Her father served as an army sergeant and hailed from North Carolina, while her mother was an Irish immigrant.

Ryan achieved notable success in her acting career, evidenced by her Emmy Award nominations in both 1963 and 1964 for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead).

Further acclaim came with her nomination for Broadway’s 1973 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Musical) for her role in “Pippin.” However, she did not win the award, which went to Patricia Elliott for “A Little Night Music.” Tragically, this event occurred approximately a month before Ryan’s death.

Death

On March 10, 1973, during a performance of “Pippin,” Ryan experienced what seemed to be a stroke. Following her doctor’s advice, she returned to California and was subsequently hospitalized. Medical examinations revealed that she had an inoperable glioblastoma, a type of malignant brain tumor. Ryan passed away at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California, on April 26, 1973, at the age of 70. The official causes of her death were listed as glioblastoma and arteriosclerotic heart disease. Ryan was laid to rest in a mausoleum at the Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery in Santa Monica, where she was interred next to her sister, Anna Thompson.

FAQ

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

Eileen Ryan and  Irene Ryan Actress  are not related. Eileen Ryan, born Eileen Annucci, is known for her work in films and television. She is the mother of actors Sean Penn and Chris Penn.  Irene Ryan Actress , best known for her role as Granny on “The Beverly Hillbillies,” was born Irene Noblette. Despite their shared profession, there is no familial connection between the two.

Actress Irene Ryan passed away on April 26, 1973. She was widely recognized for her role as Granny on the television series “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

Film and Television

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1941:

  • Melody for Three – Mrs. Veronica Higby (uncredited)

1943:

  • Reveille with Beverly – Elsie (uncredited)
  • Melody Parade – Gloria Brewster
  • The Sultan’s Daughter – Irene
  • O, My Darling Clementine – Irene

1944:

  • Hot Rhythm – Polly Kane
  • San Diego, I Love You – Sheila Jones

1945:

  • That’s the Spirit – Bilson
  • The Beautiful Cheat – Miss Beatrice Kent
  • That Night with You – Prudence

1946:

  • Diary of a Chambermaid – Louise
  • Little Iodine – Mrs. Tremble

1947:

  • The Woman on the Beach – Mrs. Wernecke
  • Heading for Heaven – Molly the Maid

1948:

  • Arch of Triumph – Irate Wife (uncredited)
  • Texas, Brooklyn & Heaven – Opal Cheever
  • My Dear Secretary – Mary

1949:

  • Mighty Joe Young – Southern Belle at the Bar (uncredited)

1950:

  • The Skipper Surprised His Wife – Mrs. O’Rourke (uncredited)

1951:

  • Half Angel – Nurse Kay
  • Meet Me After the Show – Tillie, Delilah’s Maid

1952:

  • Bonzo Goes to College – Nancy
  • The WAC from Walla Walla – WAC Sgt. Kearns
  • Blackbeard the Pirate – Alvina – Lady in Waiting

1954:

  • Ricochet Romance – Miss Clay

1957:

  • Spring Reunion – Miss Stapleton
  • Rockabilly Baby – Eunice Johnson

1960:

  • Desire in the Dust – Nora Finney

1966:

  • Don’t Worry, We’ll Think of a Title – Granny (uncredited)

Television / TV

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Theatre

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Special Appearances

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Songs

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Dubbing

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Awards

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