Irene Tedrow

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Irene Tedrow
Born(1907-08-03)August 3, 1907
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
DiedMarch 10, 1995(1995-03-10) (aged 87)
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Resting place
Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California
Alma materCarnegie Institute of Technology (BA degree in drama)
Years active1934-1989
Spouse(s)William Kent
ChildrenEnid Kent
Roger Kent
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Irene Tedrow
Born(1907-08-03)August 3, 1907
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
DiedMarch 10, 1995(1995-03-10) (aged 87)
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Resting place
Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California
Alma materCarnegie Institute of Technology (BA degree in drama)
Years active1934-1989
Spouse(s)William Kent
ChildrenEnid Kent
Roger Kent

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.[1]


Irene 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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4][5]

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.[2]


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.[1]

Selected Radiography[edit]

Original Air DateProgramRoleEpisode
1943-1956Meet Corliss ArcherJanet Archer
1944The Gallant HeartCaptain Julia Porter
1944-1961Aunt MaryJessie Ward Calvert
1946Jonathan Trimble, EsquireAlice Trimble
1947My Friend IrmaLouise Cartwright
1947-1951The Adventures of Philip Marlowe
1948The George Burns and Gracie Allen ShowMartha Dayton"The New Neighbors"
1948-1950Chandu the MagicianDorothy Regent1948 Revival Series
1949-1954Broadway Is My Beat
1951The Lottery
1953Lux Radio TheatreDoctor Lucille Duprey"War of the Worlds"
1953Crime ClassicsLizzie Borden"The Bloody, Bloody Banks Of Fall River"
September 6, 1954GunsmokeWife"The Promise (The Handcuffs)"
July 3, 1956Suspense"The Music Lovers"

Selected filmography[edit]

1940We Who Are YoungOffice GirlUncredited
1941Cheers for Miss BishopTeacher waving from windowUncredited
1942Eagle SquadronWoman
1942The Moon and SixpenceMrs. MacAndrewUncredited
1943Nobody's DarlingJulia RhodesUncredited
1944Song of the Open RoadMiss Casper (teacher)Uncredited
1945The Strange Affair of Uncle HarryMrs. FollinsbeeUncredited
1946Just Before DawnNurse Florence WhiteUncredited
1947They Won't Believe MeFirst WomanUncredited
1948The Mating of MillieReceptionistUncredited
1949Air HostessMiss Hamilton
1951The Company She KeepsMrs. Seeley
1953A Lion Is in the StreetsMrs. Sophie PeckUncredited
1953Julius CaesarCitizen of RomeUncredited
1955Santa Fe PassagePtewaquin
1956SlanderMarion Gregg, SecretaryUncredited
1957Loving YouMrs. JessupUncredited
1958Saddle the WindMrs. Mary EllisonUncredited
1960Please Don't Eat the DaisiesMrs. GreenfieldUncredited
1961A Thunder of DrumsMrs. Scarborough
1962Deadly DuoLenora Spence
1965The Cincinnati KidMrs. Rudd
1970Getting StraightMrs. Stebbins
1975MandingoMrs. Redfield
1978Foul PlayMrs. Monk
1980Midnight MadnessMrs. Grimhaus
1981All Night LongLoft Landlady
1949The RugglesMargaret RugglesFirst season only
1955The MillionaireCountess Turec1 episode
Letter to LorettaBeatrice1 episode
1956The Joseph Cotten Show: On TrialMrs. Patterson"The Trial of Edward Pritchard"
1957Highway PatrolEileen Haley1 episode
1958Jefferson DrumMary Easton"Showdown"
The Real McCoysMehitabel Swanson (1958)
Mrs. Platt and Mrs. Gherkins (both 1961)
3 episodes
Northwest PassageCora Klagg1 episode
Leave It to BeaverMrs. Claudia Hathaway1 episode
1959RawhideMinnie Lou1 episode
1959-1963Dennis the MenaceMrs. Lucy Elkins26 episodes
1960Alcoa Presents: One Step BeyondDr. J.H. Sesselshreiber1 episode
Perry MasonAmy Douglas in Ominous Outcast(1960)
Sister Theresa in Nebulous Nephew (1963)
2 episodes
Mr. LuckyMadam Maria1 episode
The Twilight ZoneMrs. Loren"The Lateness of the Hour"
Wagon TrainFreda1 episode
1961Pete and GladysMrs. Vincent"The House Next Door"
1961–1962Father of the BrideMiss Bellamy2 episodes
1962The Tall ManMaw Killgore"Three for All"
1963Dr. KildareJune Crowley1 episode
Ensign O'TooleMrs. Barnes1 episode
GrindlNurse Gardiner1 episode
1964Burke's LawLibrarian1 episode
1965BrandedMrs. Wilcox1 episode
KarenMrs. Sloat1 episode
The Andy Griffith ShowMrs. Foster"Opie's Newspaper"
The FugitiveMaude Keller1 episode
1966Hogan's HeroesJenny1 episode
1967The InvadersClare Lapham1 episode
The Flying NunMother Provincial David1 episode
Dundee and the CulhaneWidow Hughes1 episode
1969Family AffairAlice1 episode
The Mod SquadEloise1 episode
1971MannixSara Dawes1 episode
1972BanacekDr. Dora Bancroft1 episode
1973Barnaby JonesMrs. Ryan1 episodes
1973Mary Tyler Moore ShowCongresswoman Margaret Geddes2 episodes
1974Kung FuMrs. Stekel1 episode
Marcus Welby, M.D.Eileen McAdams1 episode
1975Little House: A New BeginningMinerva Farnsworth1 episode
1976Good HeavensOld Lady1 episode
Charlie's AngelsSister Anne1 episode
1977The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew MysteriesRuby1 episode
Halloween Is Grinch NightMariahTV Special
1977-1982Quincy M.E.Doctor Ruth Thaler
Mrs. Osborne
Mrs. Estes
Mrs. Weinecke
4 episodes
1978The Amazing Spider-ManAunt May"Night of the Clones"
Diff'rent StrokesMrs. Drummond1 episode
Three's CompanyAunt Martha
Mrs. Arlington
2 episodes
1979Salvage 1Aunt Adah1 episode
240-RobertFake Sissie1 episode
1980House CallsMrs. Bruckner1 episode
1981Isabel's ChoiceMrs. HarperTelevision movie
1983The Last NinjaDr. SanfordTelevision movie
1984Remington SteeleNanny Perkins1 episode
1985Magnum, P.I.Mrs. Wilson, the Antique Dealer"Going Home"
1987Punky BrewsterMaude Fierstein"Hands Across the Halls"
1987-1988The New Leave It To BeaverAunt Martha Bronson2 episodes
1988L.A. LawKatherine Crutcher"Open Heart Perjury"
1989A Deadly SilenceGrandma Virginia PiersonTelevision movie

Award nominations[edit]

YearAwardResultCategoryFilm or series
1976Emmy AwardNominatedOutstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in Comedy or Drama SpecialEleanor and Franklin
1978Outstanding Lead Actress for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy SeriesJames at 15
For the episode "Ducks"


  1. ^ a b c Myrna Oliver (March 18, 1995). "Irene Tedrow; Actress on Radio, Stage and Screen". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Irene Tedrow at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ The Jack Benny Program, "Groucho Marx", 1955 on YouTube
  4. ^ Dunning, John, On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, Oxford University Press, pp. 444–445, retrieved 2014 
  5. ^ "Corliss Archer Is Coming Back". The Sunday Star. August 20, 1950. 

External links[edit]