Biography

Whenever a script calls for a wacky old lady, character actor Ellen Albertini Dow is there to play the part. After a lifetime as a teacher, the Cornell graduate made her television debut on an episode of the Twilight Zone in 1985 when she was in her late sixties. She spent the rest of the '80s making TV guest appearances on family sitcoms (Mr. Belvedere, The Golden Girls, Family Matters, and Newhart, just to name a few). On the big screen, she appeared in inumerable supporting roles as a grandma, nun, or any random old lady, leading to choir parts in both Sister Act and Sister Act 2. She got to exploit her comedic schtick regularly in 1996 when she joined the cast of the Nickelodeon series Kenan & Kel in the role of Ethel Quagmire. If a cameo can be considered a breakthrough, she at least gained face recognition as the old lady, Rosie, who raps in The Wedding Singer by appearing in the film's commercial. She continued playing the sassy granny role as Disco Dottie in 54, Mrs. MacKenzie in Ready to Rumble, and Tom Green's grandma in Road Trip. In 2001, she returned to the small screen to play Grandma Harriet on the WB series Maybe It's Me. At the age of 84, she lent her voice to Adam Sandler's animated feature Eight Crazy Nights. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi