Jessie Royce Landis
|Jessie Royce Landis|
November 25, 1896
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||February 2, 1972
Danbury, Connecticut, U.S.
|Resting place||Branchville Cemetery, Ridgefield, Connecticut|
|Spouse(s)||Perry Lester Landis (1923-1935)
Rex Smith (1937-1944)
Maj. Gen. J.F.R. Seitz (1956-1972)
Jesse Royce Landis was born Jessie Medbury in Chicago, Illinois. to Paul, an orchestra musician, and Ella Medbury. As per Ancestry.com, "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.
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.
Landis 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.
|1949||Mr. Belvedere Goes to College||Mrs. Chase|
|1949||It Happens Every Spring||Mrs. Greenleaf|
|1949||My Foolish Heart||Martha Winters|
|1955||To Catch a Thief||Jessie Stevens|
|1956||Climax!||Olivia Chesney||Episode: "An Episode of Sparrows"|
|1956||The Swan||Princess Beatrix|
|1957||My Man Godfrey||Angelica Bullock|
|1958||I Married a Woman||Mrs. Blake, Janice's Mother|
|1959||North by Northwest||Clara Thornhill|
|1960||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Claire Crane||Episode: "Mother, May I Go Out to Swim?"|
|1960||Thriller||Mrs. Killburn||Episode: "The Mark of the Hand"|
|1961||Goodbye Again||Mrs. Van der Besh|
|1962||Boys' Night Out||Ethel Williams|
|1963||Critic's Choice||Charlotte Orr aka Charlie|
|1963||Gidget Goes to Rome||Albertina Blythe|
|1965||The Man from U.N.C.L.E.||Madame Olga Nemirovitch||Episode: "The Adriatic Express Affair"|
|1970||Airport||Mrs. Harriet DuBarry Mossman|
|1971||Columbo||Mrs. Chadwick||Episode: "Lady in Waiting"|
- Nissen, Axel (2006). Actresses of a Certain Character: Forty Familiar Hollywood Faces from the Thirties to the Fifties. McFarland. p. 95. ISBN 0-7864-2746-9.
Ancestry.com Source Citation
Census Place: Chicago Ward 4, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 248; Page: 16A
Enumeration District: 0096; FHL microfilm: 1240248
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.
Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.
- The New York Times Biographical Service 3. New York Times & Arno Press. 1972. p. 353.
- Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com. Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 4, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 248; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 96; FHL microfilm: 1240248.
- "US Army Officers 1939-1945". Retrieved February 22, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jessie Royce Landis.|
- Jessie Royce Landis at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jessie Royce Landis at the Internet Movie Database
- Jessie Royce Landis at the TCM Movie Database
- Jessie Royce Landis at Find a Grave
- Jessie Royce Landis from Great Character Actors