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Jessie Royce Landis

Show Count: 2
Series Count: 0
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: November 25, 1896, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died: February 2, 1972, Danbury, Connecticut, USA

Jessie Royce Landis (November 25, 1896 – February 2, 1972) was an American actress.

Early life

Jesse Royce Landis was born Jessie Medbury in Chicago, Illinois. to Paul, an orchestra musician, and Ella Medbury. As per, "Royce" does not appear to have been her middle name by birth; her middle initial is cited as either "J." or "T". Her acting surname "Landis" derives from her first husband, although she was married twice more.


Landis was a stage actress for much of her career. In the 1950s, she began appearing in movies as a character actress, most notably in To Catch a Thief (1955), and North by Northwest (1959), both starring Cary Grant and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. In North by Northwest she played Grant's character's mother, and in To Catch a Thief and The Swan, she played the mother of Grace Kelly's characters. Landis also made many television appearances.

Age Controversy

Landis's appearance in North by Northwest earned her publicity for portraying Cary Grant's mother despite claiming to be nearly a year younger. Landis listed 1904 as the year of her birth, a date now given by many printed biographies and online sources. However, in the tradition of many actresses, she had actually shaved years off her age – in this instance, eight. She appears in the 1900 U.S. Census as a 3-year-old born in November 1896, and so was actually seven years older than Grant.


She was married three times. Her third husband and widower was Major General J.F.R. "Jeff" Seitz (died 1978). Her autobiography, titled You Won't Be So Pretty (But You'll Know More), was published in 1954.


Landis died of cancer in Danbury, Connecticut on February 2, 1972, aged 75.

Source: Wikipedia

Broadcast: 3rd February 1946
Added: Jul 19 2011