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Ellen Albertini Dow
Dow as Rosie in The Wedding Singer
Ellen Rose Albertini
November 15, 1913
|Died||May 4, 2015 (aged 101)|
|Resting place||Saint Peter's Cemetery|
|Alma mater||Cornell University (1935)|
|Occupation||Actress, acting coach|
Eugene Francis Dow, Jr.
(m. 1951; His death 2004)
Ellen Rose Albertini Dow (November 15, 1913 – May 4, 2015) was an American film and television character actress and drama coach. She portrayed feisty old ladies and is best known as the rapping grandmother Rosie in The Wedding Singer (1998), performing "Rapper's Delight". Dow's other film roles include elderly lady Mary Cleary who "outs" her grandson in Wedding Crashers, Disco Dottie in 54, the recipient of Christopher Lloyd's character's slapstick in Radioland Murders and a choir nun in Sister Act. She was best known to small screen audiences for her guest appearances on sitcoms The Golden Girls (playing Lillian, a friend of Sophia's) and Will & Grace (as Karen Walker’s mother-in-law Sylvia).
Albertini was born on November 15, 1913, in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, the seventh and youngest child of Italian immigrant parents, Ellen and Oliver, from South Tyrol. Oliver was a car dealership owner. She studied dance and piano at age five and would later move to New York City, where she studied and worked with renowned dancers and choreographers Hanya Holm and Martha Graham.
Dow earned a B.A. and M.A. in theatre from Cornell University, where she became a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, graduating in 1935. Dow studied acting with Michael Shurtleff and Uta Hagen, and worked with mimes Marcel Marceau and Jacques Lecoq in NYC.
Dow performed comedy in the Borscht Belt and at the Second Avenue Theatre in New York with Menasha Skulnik and Molly Picon. She performed in summer stock companies on Long Island, as well as in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, and directed and choreographed stage productions such as The Beggar's Opera at Carnegie Recital Hall, The Magic Flute, and Julius Caesar with German musical director Hugo Strelitzer. She founded the Albertini Mime Players and was its producer for 19 years.
Her television work includes appearances in such television series as Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Golden Girls, Newhart, Designing Women, Just Shoot Me, Will & Grace, Seinfeld, Ned's Declassified, Hannah Montana, Scrubs, Sister, Sister, According to Jim, Six Feet Under, Wings , The Nanny and My Name is Earl.
Personal life and death
- n.b. for credit listings reference
|1986||Tough Guys||Old Lady|
|1986||Munchies||Little Old Lady|
|Walk Like a Man||Organist|
|1988||Going to the Chapel||Grandma Haldane|
|1990||My Blue Heaven||Nun|
|1991||Blood and Concrete||Old Lady|
|1992||Memoirs of an Invisible Man||Mrs. Coulson|
|Sister Act||Choir Nun #1||American comedy film|||
|1993||Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit||Choir Nun #1|
|1995||Problem Child 3||Lila Duvane|
|1998||The Wedding Singer||Rosie||American romantic comedy film written by Tim Herlihy and directed by Frank Coraci|||
|Carnival of Souls||Mrs. Meltzer|
|54||Disco Dottie||American drama film written and directed by Mark Christopher|||
|Patch Adams||Aggie Kennedy||American semi-biographical comedy-drama film directed by Tom Shadyac|
|2000||Ready to Rumble||Mrs. MacKenzie||American buddy comedy film|
|Road Trip||Mrs. Manilow||American comedy film|
|2002||Eight Crazy Nights||See's Candies Box||Voice|
|2005||Wedding Crashers||Mary Cleary||American comedy film directed by David Dobkin|||
|Halfway Decent||Mrs. Kahn|
|2007||The Blue Hour||Anabella|
|2008||Lonely Street||Lydia the Librarian|
|2010||The Invited||Natalie Shaw|
|2011||Not Another Not Another Movie||Older Rose|
|2012||She Wants Me||Grandma Elma|
|2013||Frank the Bastard||Dora||(final film role)|
|1986||The Twilight Zone||Mrs. Hotchkiss||Episode: "Need to Know" (S1: Ep 51)|
|Mr. Belvedere||Old Lady||Episode: "Grandma" (S3: Ep 2)|
|The Twilight Zone||Old Woman||Episode: "The Storyteller" (S2: Ep 5)|
|1987||Beauty and the Beast||Anna Lausch||Episode: "Nor Iron Bars a Cage" (S1: Ep 7)|
|1988||Moonlighting||Mrs. Baer||Episode: "Los Dos DiPestos" (S4: Ep 8)|
|Mr. Belvedere||Old Lady||Episode: "The Trip: Part 1" (S4: Ep 13)|
|Webster||Mrs. Crane||Episode: "Papa's Big Romance" (S6: Ep 4)|
|The Golden Girls||Mrs. Leonard||Episode: "The Days and Nights of Sophia Petrillo" (S4: Ep 2)|
|Lillian||Episode: "Sophia's Choice" (S4: Ep 22)|
|1991||Sarah||Episode: "Older and Wiser" (S6: Ep 18)|
|1992||The Wonder Years||Mrs. Tambora||Episode: "Kevin Delivers" (S6: Ep 8)|
|1993||Star Trek: The Next Generation||Felisa Howard||Episode: "Sub Rosa" (S7: Ep 14)|
|1994||Family Matters||Mrs. Ostendorf||Episode: "That's What Friends Are For" (S5: Ep 3)|
|1995||ER||Mrs. Riblet||Episode: "Hell & High Water" (S2: Ep 7)|
|Seinfeld||Peterman's mother||Episode: "The Secret Code" (S7: Ep 7)|
|1997||Beyond Belief - Fact or Fiction||Aunt Connie||Segment: "Mystery Lock"|
|2001||Will & Grace||Sylvia Walker||Episode: "The Young and the Tactless" (S3: Ep 21)|
|2005||Scrubs||Betty||Episode: "My Faith in Humanity" (S4: Ep 23)|
|Six Feet Under||Roberta||Episode: "Time Flies" (S5: Ep 4)|
|2006||Hannah Montana||Katherine McCord||Episode: "Debt it Be" (S1: Ep 20)|
|2007||Cold Case||Audrey Abruzzi||Episode: "Torn" (S4: Ep 21)|
|2011||Shameless||The Real Aunt Ginger||Episode: "Aunt Ginger" (S1: Ep 3)|
|2013||New Girl||Aunt Ruthie||Episode: "Chicago" (S2: Ep 20)|
- Reference to Ellen Albertini Dow's 100th birthday, businessinsider.com; accessed November 17, 2014.
- Ellen Albertini Dow profile, FilmReference.com; accessed May 26, 2014.
- Census 1920
- Parker, Ryan (May 5, 2015). "Ellen Albertini Dow, 'Wedding Singer's' rapping granny, dies at 101". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
- Ellen Rose Albertini, Cornell University alumna (class of 1935), e-yearbook.com; accessed June 23, 2014.
- "Ellen Albertini Dow : Credit Listings". TV.com. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- Slotnik, Daniel E. (May 5, 2015). "Ellen Albertini Dow, Actress, Dies at 101; Rapping Granny in 'Wedding Singer'". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
- Pedersen, Erik (May 4, 2015). "'Wedding Singer' Rapping Granny Dead; Ellen Albertini Dow Was 101". Deadline Hollywood. United States: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- "Sister Act". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- "The Wedding Singer". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- Jordan, Louis (February 16, 2015). "54 Bombed in 1998. Now It's Been Resurrected as a Cult Gay Classic". vulture.com. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- Castillo, Monica (May 5, 2015). "'Wedding Crashers' Grandma Ellen Albertini Dow Dies at 101; Watch Her Best Performances [VIDEOS]". International Business Times. IBT Media. Retrieved September 30, 2015.