Zeffie Tilbury….

19 Oct

I just watched “the Grapes of Wrath” the old version with Henry Fonda. I won’t go into how relevant it still is. The “Haves” and the “Have Nots” have been a fact life in the U.S. since its inception,made even more poignant during periods of economic distress,(like the present)

What captured my attention this time was Grandma, portrayed by a familiar face to many movie buffs. Zeffie Tilbury. My introduction to her was through her roles in “Little Rascals” episodes. I’m sure many of you will remember this photo.

Alfafa,Spanky and Zefie at the piano. Just one of those images that has always remained in my memory from childhood.

Here she is in Wrath, bonnet, corncob pipe and all the “Okie” accessories. What a great face,the kind you never forget.


Born in Paddington, Middlesex, England Tilbury was known first on the London stage[3] and later for playing wise or evil older characters in films, such as the distinguished lady gambler at dinner with Garbo in The Single Standard, as Grandma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath and Grandma Lester in Tobacco Road.

She appeared in over 70 films.[4] Her earliest surviving silent film is the Valentino/Nazimova 1921 production of Camille.

Our Gang
Tilbury is probably best remembered as the old lady who is befriended by Spanky and his friends on her birthday and, as a result, is transformed from a lonely, disagreeable recluse to a happy and loving carefree soul in the 1936 Hal Roach Our Gang comedy Second Childhood.


Tilbury was the daughter of the variety performer Lydia Thompson and John Christian Tilbury, a riding-master, who died in a steeplechasing accident in 1864, when he was rolled on by his horse.
Tilbury was married twice. First to Arthur Frederick Lewis in June, 1887, and later to L. E. Woodthorpe, who died on April 8, 1915.


One Response to “Zeffie Tilbury….”

  1. Rose September 23, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

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