Gloria Henry

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Gloria Henry
Gloria Henry Columbia Pictures Publicity Circa 1947.jpg
Gloria Henry, circa 1947
Gloria Eileen McEniry

(1923-04-02) April 2, 1923 (age 96)
Years active1947–2005, 2012
Craig Ellwood
(m. 1949; div. 1977)

Gloria Henry (born Gloria Eileen McEniry; April 2, 1923) is an American actress, best known for her role as Alice Mitchell, Dennis’s mother, from 1959 to 1963 on the CBS family sitcom Dennis the Menace.

Early life[edit]

Henry was born on April 2, 1923. She lived and grew up on the edge of the Garden District of New Orleans, Louisiana. She was educated at the Worcester Art Museum School.[1] 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.


Early career[edit]

Signed by an agent, Henry transitioned into film work via Columbia Studios in 1946 and made her debut as the female lead in the horse-racing film Sport of Kings (1947).[2] She had featured roles in the romantic comedy Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949) that starred Lucille Ball and the western Rancho Notorious (1952) with Marlene Dietrich. Henry also appeared in three sports-themed stories, the football film Triple Threat (1948), the horse-race tale Racing Luck (1948) and the William Bendix baseball comedy Kill the Umpire (1950).

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. Henry also appeared on the Abbott and Costello TV show in an episode entitled "The Pigeon".

Dennis the Menace[edit]

Henry with Dennis the Menace co-stars, Herbert Anderson and Jay North, 1959

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.[3] 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[edit]

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 has played the role of Bob Woods's long-suffering but cheerful wife Wilma Woods since 2009.

Personal life[edit]

Henry is of Scottish and Irish ancestry. She was married to Robert D. Lamb between 1943 and 1948.[4] She wed architect Craig Ellwood in 1949; they divorced in 1977. The couple had three children, Jeffrey, Adam, and Erin Ellwood.


Year Title Role
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
Johnny Allegro Addie
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

Television appearances[edit]


  1. ^ "Ex-Radio Announcer Announcer Stars in First Film". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh. March 26, 1947. p. 32. Retrieved October 25, 2018 – via open access
  2. ^ "Gloria Henry in 'Keeper of Bees'". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. February 26, 1947. p. 11. Retrieved October 25, 2018 – via open access
  3. ^ Profile,; accessed March 12, 2015.
  4. ^ "Movie question box". The Boston Globe. September 9, 1949. p. 27. Retrieved August 24, 2019.

External links[edit]