Saturday, April 26, 2014

Elisabeth Risdon, 1887-1958

Elisabeth Risdon as Aunt Della in one of the Mexican Spitfire movies

Today marks the birth anniversary of character actress Elisabeth Risdon, who was born on this day in 1887. Risdon started off in British silent movies in the mid-1910s, before going to the stage, where she worked on stage for over 15 years before getting another chance to do movies, this time in Hollywood. Now, though, she was pushing 50, so she got a lot of character roles, as mothers or aunts or what-have-you. One of those was Aunt Della Lindsay in the "Mexican Spitfire" movies, which are currently showing up on TCM at 10:30 AM on Saturdays for a couple more weeks at least; I haven't been paying attention to how many installments are left. But you can certainly catch her this morning at 10:30 AM in Mexican Spitfire at Sea

As for her more memorable roles, one of the bigger roles is as one of Irene Dunne's prudish aunts in Theodora Goes Wild, which if a blog search is correct is the only time I've mentioned her. But she showed up, without my mentioning her, in movies such as Make Way For Tomorrow or Girls on Probation

One small role where it might be easier to recognize her is in High Sierra; there she plays the wife of the character played by Henry Travers, whom you can't miss since he was Clarence the Angel in It's a Wonderful Life and his voice is unmistakeable.

No comments: