Nedra Volz

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Nedra Volz
Nedra Volz at the 39th Emmy Awards cropped.jpg
Volz at the 39th Emmy Awards, September 1987
Born Nedra Gordonier
(1908-06-18)June 18, 1908
Montrose, Iowa, U.S.
Died January 20, 2003(2003-01-20) (aged 94)
Mesa, Arizona, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1973–1996
Spouse(s)
  • Lester Rhode (1931-1942; divorced)
    Oren Volz (1944–1987)

Nedra Volz (née Gordonier, June 18, 1908 – January 20, 2003) was an American actress.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Montrose, Iowa, she began her career in the family tent show, and appeared in vaudeville as a toddler (called "Baby Nedra"). 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 Will Osborne's orchestra in 1933.

Beginning with an episode of Good Times in 1975, she became a well-recognized supporting character actress, primarily on television and also in feature films. Nedra often played grandmothers or feisty little old ladies, in 1970s sitcoms such as Alice, Maude and One Day at a Time, after she appeared in two of Norman Lear's summer television series: as Grandma Belle Durbin in A Year at the Top in 1977 and as Bill Macy's housekeeper Pinky Nolan in Hanging In in 1979. In 1978, Volz appeared in the pilot episode of the TV series WKRP in Cincinnati, where she whacked a turntable with her umbrella in protest of the station's format change, and in All In The Family as Edith's spinster relative and unwelcome visitor, Aunt Iola. In 1980, she appeared in several Jack in the Box TV spots as they blew up Jack.[1]

By 1980 she appeared on TV almost weekly, starting with a recurring role as housekeeper Adelaide Brubaker in the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes. In 1981 she landed another recurring role as Emma Tisdale on the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard. In the 1982–83 season, Volz was the matriarch in the Filthy Rich, a series spoofing prime-time soap operas of the day. Volz's character Winona "Mother B" Beck, was the discarded first wife of cryogenically frozen Big Guy Beck (Slim Pickens and, after his death, Forrest Tucker), constantly trying to escape from the nursing home to return to the family mansion, Toad Hall. Volz's final series role was as the bail-bonds woman that hired Lee Majors bounty-hunter character on The Fall Guy from 1985 until the series ended in 1986.

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. She remained a guest star for on such series as Night Court, Coach, The Commish and Babes into the early 1990s and she 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.[1]

Her most notable appearances include:

Personal life[edit]

Nedra's first husband, Lester Rhode, was a songwriter and director of Cato's Vagabonds orchestra; they later divorced. In 1944, at the age of 36, Nedra married Oren Volz. The marriage produced three children, Edward, Linda, and Barbara Lee Volz (1939–1992). Oren Volz died in 1987 after 43 years of marriage. Nedra later lived in Upland, California through the 1980s and 1990s. She was a volunteer Official Celebrity Spokesperson for D.A.R.E. in Ontario, California, before she relocated to Mesa, Arizona.[1]

Death[edit]

On January 20, 2003, Volz died of complications from Alzheimer's disease in Mesa, Arizona.[2]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1973 Your Three Minutes Are Up Free Pass Lady
1977 Mule Feathers Clamity Jane
1979 10 Mrs. Kissell
1980 Little Miss Marker Mrs. Clancy
1983 National Lampoon's Movie Madness Old Lady - 'Growing Yourself'
1985 Lust in the Dust Big Ed
1985 Moving Violations Mrs. Loretta Houk
1988 Mortuary Academy Helen
1988 Earth Girls Are Easy Lana
1993 Betrayal of the Dove Opal Vaneck
1994 Dickwad Old Lady Short film
1994 Il silenzio dei prosciutti Ranger's wife
1996 The Great White Hype Old Lady

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1975 They Only Come Out at Night Elderly woman Television film
1975 Good Times Old Lady Episode: Florida's Protest
1976 Rhoda Elderly woman Episode: Meet the Levys
1976–77 Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Mrs. DeFarge / Barbie 19 episodes
Recurring role (Season 2)
1976–82 One Day at a Time Mrs. Peabody / Emily 4 episodes
1977 The Tony Randall Show Mildred Piersen Episode: Democracy vs. Tyranny
1977 A Year at the Top Grandma Belle Durbin 5 episodes
Main cast (Season 1)
1977 Fernwood 2 Night Barbara Forman Episode: #1.30
1978–80 Eight Is Enough Mrs. Yaterman 2 episodes
1978 Apple Pie Mrs. Cassidy Episode: Tornado
1978–80 Alice Esther / Gambler 3 episodes
1978 All in the Family Aunt Iola Episode: Aunt Iola's Visit
1978 Maude Pinky Nolan Episode: Maude's Big Move: Part 3
1978 WKRP in Cincinnati Mrs. Burstyn Episode: Pilot: Part 2
1978 Carter Country Mrs. Forsythe Episode: Poor Butterfly
1979 Mr. Dugan Pinky Nolan Maude's spin-off never aired
1979 Angie Hostess Episode: Joyce's Job
1979 Hanging In Pinky Nolan 4 episodes
Main cast (Season 1)
1979 The Baxters Helen Lawson Episode: Victims of Inflation
1980–84 Diff'rent Strokes Adelaide Brubaker 22 episodes
Recurring role (Seasons 2–4) Guest star (Season 6)
1980 Condominium Mrs. Conlaw 2 episodes; Television Miniseries
1980 Quincy M.E. Gladys Episiode: T.K.O.
1980 The Stockard Channing Show Mother Clyde Episode: Susan's Big Break
1980 Gridlock Mrs. Felcher Television film
1980–84 The Dukes of Hazzard Miz Emma Tisdale 13 episodes
Recurring role (Seasons 3–5) Guest star (Season 7)
1981 Hart to Hart Mrs. Bittersweet Episode: Hart-Shaped Murder
1981 Pals Emily Baines Television short
1982–83 Filthy Rich Winona 'Mother B' Beck 15 episodes
Main cast (Seasons 1–2)
1983 Insight Mrs. Minerva Dutton's Choice
1984 Last of the Great Survivors Gladys Television film
1984 The Love Boat Dancing Partner Episode: Soap Gets in Your Eyes/A Match Made in Heaven/Tugs of the Heart
1984 For Love or Money Hypatia Television film
1984–86 Gimme a Break! Maid 3 episodes
1985–86 The Fall Guy Pearl Sperling 3 episodes
Season 5 (Recrruing role)
1986 Night Court Little Old Lady Episode: Contempt of Courting
1986 Who's the Boss? Ethel Episode: Forgive Me, Tony
1986 My Sister Sam Dora Episode: Walk a While in My Shoes
1987–88 ALF Cat Woman 2 episodes
1988 It's a Living Mrs. Thompson Episode: Tune In, Tune Out
1988 Designing Women Mother Episode: Hard Hats and Lovers
1989 Webster Ida Episode: A-Camping We Will Go
1989 TV 101 Mother Steadman Episode: Keegan's Past
1989 Super Mario Bros. Super Show Mrs. Periwinkle / Angelica / Spooky Gadgets Incorporated 2 episodes
1990 Dear John Dotty Episode: Honolulu Baby
1990–91 Babes Mrs. Florence Newman 5 episodes
Recurring role (Season 1)
1992 The Commish Mrs. Zimmerman Episode: Sex, Lies and Kerosene
1993 Coach Gertrude Episode: Christmas of the Van Damned
1993–94 Step by Step Mrs. Slezak / Shirley 2 episodes

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Nedra Volz on IMDb
  2. ^ Oliver, Myrna (2003-01-29). "Nedra Volz, 94; TV Actress Played Many 'Old Lady' Roles". articles.latimes.com. Retrieved March 28, 2010. 

External links[edit]