Sunday, May 3, 2015

Beulah Bondi .... Mrs. Bailey Born May 3, 1889

On May 3, 1889, Beulah Bondi, a.k.a. Ma Bailey, was born in Chicago, IL.

During her career, Bondi Portrayed James Stewart's mother in four films: It's a Wonderful Life (1946), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Of Human Hearts (1938) and Vivacious Lady (1938), as well as on an episode of his television series, The Jimmy Stewart Show (1971).

Although she often played loving mothers and wives, she never married nor had children.

Bondi and Ellen Corby both appeared in It's a Wonderful Life, and in the television show, "The Waltons." In "The Waltons,' Ellen Corby portrayed Grandma and Bondi portrayed Martha Corrinne.

In 1977, Bondi won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series for her 1977 appearance in an episode of "The Waltons" titled "The Pony Cart."

Corby won a Golden Glove for Best Supporting Actress - Television, for her role in "The Waltons." That role also earned her three other nominations for the same award in 1973, 1975 and 1977.

Bondi also was nominated twice for Oscars for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her parts in The Gorgeous Hussey (1937 nomination), and in Of Human Hearts (1939 nomination). She never won.

"What distinguishes the real actor from the pseudo is the passionate desire to know what is going on in the hearts and minds of people," said Bondi.

Watch this wonderful tribune from TCM:

Bondi died Jan. 11, 1981 at age 91, in Woodland Hills, CA. She was cremated and her ashes spread in the Pacific Ocean. If she was alive today, she would be 126 years old.

Learn more about her life and career on IMDB, Wikipedia, and Turner Classic Movies.

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