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Volz at the 39th Emmy Awards
June 18, 1908
Montrose, Iowa, U.S.
|Died||January 20, 2003
Mesa, Arizona, U.S.
Nedra Volz (née Gordonier, June 18, 1908 – January 20, 2003) was an American film and television actress
Early life and career
Born in Montrose, Iowa, she began her career in the family tent show, and appeared in vaudeville as a toddler (called "Baby Nedra"). She ended up in the 1970s as a well-recognized supporting character actress, primarily on television and also in feature films. Nedra often played grandmothers or feisty little old ladies.
In the early 1930s, Volz was featured vocalist with Cato's Vagabonds, a Des Moines, Iowa, big band that briefly enjoyed national popularity. Cato never made records, but Nedra managed to appear on exactly one 78 side, with the orchestra of Will Osborne in 1933.
Her most notable appearances include:
- Aunt Iola, Edith Bunker's favorite aunt on All in the Family, 1978.
- Housekeeper Adelaide Brubaker on Diff'rent Strokes from January 1980 until May 1982.
- Post Office Employee Miz Emma Tisdale on The Dukes of Hazzard starting in November 1980 until 1984.
- "Big Ed" in the Paul Bartel spoof Lust in the Dust
- Mother B. (Winona Beck) in Filthy Rich.
- Loretta Houk in the film Moving Violations (1985).
- Lana in the film Earth Girls Are Easy (1988)
- Esther in the TV show Alice in 1978.
- Pearl Sperling in the 1985 season of The Fall Guy.
One of Nedra's most memorable film roles was that of Old Mrs. Kissel, the minister's hunchbacked assistant, in the Blake Edwards 1979 film 10. While precariously serving tea to Dudley Moore, Mrs. Kissel farts and the dog runs out of the room. The minister explains: "Whenever Mrs. Kissel breaks wind, we beat the dog."
Aside from these regular parts, she often appeared in guest roles. In 1978, Volz appeared on the TV series WKRP in Cincinnati, where she whacked a turntable with her umbrella in protest of the station's format change. In 1980, she appeared in several Jack in the Box TV spots as they blew up Jack. In 'Mission of Peace', a 1986 episode of The A-Team, she was one of a group of senior citizens forced into asking the team for help. She portrayed the roles of Mrs. Perwinkle and Angelica on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show in 1989.
Volz continued to act well into her eighties. In Moving Violations, director Neil Israel allowed her to do many stunts herself, including being lifted into a window and falling head-first onto the floor. Volz's last acting role was in The Great White Hype in 1996.
Nedra's first husband, Lester Rhode, was a songwriter and director of Cato's Vagabonds orchestra. In 1944, at the age of 36, Nedra married Oren Volz. The marriage produced three children, Edward Volz, Linda Defenderer, and Barbara Lee Volz (1939–1992). Oren Volz died in 1987. Nedra lived in Upland, California through the 1980s and 1990s. She was a volunteer Official Celebrity Spokesperson for D.A.R.E., in Ontario, California.
- Oliver, Myrna (2003-01-29). "Nedra Volz, 94; TV Actress Played Many 'Old Lady' Roles". articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 28 March 2010.