Virginia Payne (December 7, 1909 - February 10, 1977 in Cincinnati, Ohio) was an American radio actress, best known for her 27-year role as Ma Perkins. In 1939, in addition to Ma Perkins, she took over the role of Mrs. Carter on the radio soap opera The Carters of Elm Street.
Noting the 25th anniversary of Ma Perkins, Time described Payne in 1957:
- Like other daytime heroines, Ma neither drinks, smokes, takes snuff or has affairs with men. Unlike Ma, Cincinnati-born Virginia Payne, 47, has never been married, downs an occasional whisky sour and makes up to $50,000 a year—more than any other actress in daytime broadcasting. Her present writer (she has had ten) lived on the Riviera for two years, now counts his money on Cape Cod. A devout Roman Catholic with an M.A. in literature (University of Cincinnati), Virginia sheds Ma's vocabulary of "ain'ts," "folks" and "Land o' Goshens" with ease, but insists on making personal appearances in wig, makeup, frumpy clothes and spectacles, "though I often feel like a great imposter." She is an accomplished pianist, lives alone in a posh East Side Manhattan apartment decorated with Duveen-collected oil paintings, accumulates antiques, and grows roses (two varieties have been named for her).
After the long run of Ma Perkins came to an end, Payne did theater. She appeared on Broadway in the Betty Comden - Adolph Green musical comedy, Fade Out - Fade In (1964–65), and Paul Zindel's play, And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little (1971).