Gloria Henry, circa 1947
April 2, 1923
New Orleans, Louisiana U.S.
(m. 1949; div. 1977)
Henry lived and grew up on the edge of the Garden District of New Orleans, Louisiana. She was educated at the Worcester Art Museum School. She moved to Los Angeles in her late teens and worked on a number of radio shows and commercials using the stage name of Gloria Henry. She also performed in little theater groups.
Signed by an agent, Henry transitioned into film work via Columbia Studios and made her debut as the female lead in the minor horse-racing film Sport of Kings (1947). She had featured roles in the romantic comedy Miss Grant Takes Richmond that starred Lucille Ball and the western Rancho Notorious with Marlene Dietrich. Henry also appeared in three sports-themed stories, the football film Triple Threat, the horse-race tale Racing Luck and the William Bendix baseball comedy Kill the Umpire.
The 1950s were an uneventful mixture of more "B" films and episodic TV guest parts such as My Little Margie (1952) and the premiere episode of Perry Mason, "The Case of the Restless Redhead" (1957). She was also a regular on the private eye series The Files of Jeffrey Jones (1954) starring Don Haggerty, but was written out of the show when she became pregnant. She also appeared on the Abbott and Costello TV show in an episode entitled "The Pigeon" .
Dennis the Menace
In 1959, Henry landed the role for which she would become most well known, that of "Alice Mitchell" on the CBS comedy series Dennis the Menace. The series co-starred Herbert Anderson as her husband and young Jay North in the title role of Dennis. Henry portrayed sunny domesticity and maternal warmth for four seasons until the series' cancellation in 1963.
After Dennis the Menace
Henry's career slowed down considerably after Dennis the Menace. She was spotted occasionally in TV-movies playing assorted bit-part matrons, and in 1989 she played a small role as an art-collecting society matron in the prime time soap opera, Dallas.
Henry returned to the big screen in a brief role in Her Minor Thing (2005), a romantic comedy directed by Charles Matthau, Walter Matthau's son. She occasionally attends film festivals and nostalgia conventions. In 2012, she guest starred on the Parks and Recreation episode "Campaign Shake-Up", playing the role of Mary-Elizabeth Clinch.
Henry wed architect Craig Ellwood in 1949; they divorced in 1977. The couple had three children, Jeffrey, Adam, and Erin Ellwood.
|1947||The Sport of Kings||Doc Richardson|
|Keeper of the Bees||Alice|
|Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back||Ellen Curtiss|
|1948||Adventures in Silverado||Jeannie Manning|
|Port Said||Gila Lingallo/Helena Guistano|
|Arkansas Swing||Margie MacGregor|
|The Strawberry Roan||Connie Bailey|
|Triple Threat||Ruth Nolan|
|Racing Luck||Phyllis Warren|
|1949||Rusty Saves a Life||Lyddy Hazard|
|Law of the Barbary Coast||Julie Adams|
|Air Hostess||Ruth Jackson|
|Miss Grant Takes Richmond||Helen White|
|Feudin' Rhythm||Valerie Kay|
|Riders in the Sky||Anne Lawson|
|1950||Kill the Umpire||Lucy Johnson|
|Rookie Fireman||Peggy Walters|
|The Tougher They Come||Rattle Rafferty|
|Counterspy Meets Scotland Yard||Martha Holden|
|Lightning Guns||Susan Atkins|
|1951||Al Jennings of Oklahoma||Alice Calhoun|
|Yellow Fin||Nina Torres|
|1952||Rancho Notorious||Beth Forbes|
|1953||Hot News||Kerry Barker|
|1958||Gang War||Edie Avery|
|1988||Doin' Time on Planet Earth||Mary Richmond|
|2005||Her Minor Thing||Mrs. Porter|
- The Abbott and Costello Show - Ruby Norton
- Mr. & Mrs. North - Ruth Spencer (1953)
- My Little Margie - Norma Calkins (1953)
- The Files of Jeffrey Jones (1954)
- Navy Log - Eileen Murphy (1957)
- Perry Mason - Helene Chaney (1957)
- The Walter Winchell File (1957)
- Tales of Wells Fargo - Sharon Burns (1957)
- The Life of Riley - Miss Cosgrove (1958)
- Rescue 8 - Joan (1958)
- The Thin Man (1959)
- Dennis the Menace - Alice Mitchell (1959–63)
- Hazel (1963)
- The Snoop Sisters (1974)
- The Brady Brides (1981)
- Falcon Crest (1987)
- Dallas (1989)
- Hunter (1990)
- Doogie Howser, M.D. (1992)
- Parks and Recreation (2012)
- Profile, nj.com; accessed March 12, 2015.