Ellen Albertini Dow, the only reason to watch The Wedding Singer more than 10 times a year has laid down her last sick rhyme. The actress, who appeared on every show you’ve ever seen —including The Golden Girls, Hannah Montana, and Scrubs — died yesterday at age 101. She leaves behind not only the best performance in an Adam Sandler film to date, but a legacy of film and theater work that stretches back over seven decades.
From Rolling Stone:
Prior to 30 years of on-screen work, Dow was an accomplished dancer, stage actress, comedian, mime and teacher. As a budding performer, she worked with Broadway luminaries like Uta Hagen and Michael Shurtleff and trained with famed mimes Marcel Marceau and Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Dow also worked the famous Borscht Belt circuit — resort theaters in upstate New York — where the likes of Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Joan Rivers and many more honed their craft.
Before becoming a sensation on screen, Dow taught theater at Los Angeles City College and Pierce College in California. Rolling Stone reports that the actress got her first film role the same year she retired. The rest was history. Dow is an inspiration to all of us who a) love grannies rapping and b) need the reminder that you can start a career after thirty and still be okay. Dow was in her 70s when she accepted her first film role.
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