Volz at the 39th Emmy Awards, September 1987
June 18, 1908
Montrose, Iowa, U.S.
|Died||January 20, 2003 (aged 94)|
Mesa, Arizona, U.S.
(m. 1931; div. 1942)
(m. 1944; death 1987)
Nedra Volz (née Gordonier, June 18, 1908 – January 20, 2003) was an American actress. In television, she portrayed Aunt Iola on All in the Family, Adelaide Brubaker on Diff'rent Strokes, Emma Tisdale on The Dukes of Hazzard, and Winona Beck on Filthy Rich. Her roles in films include appearing as Big Ed in Lust in the Dust (1985), Loretta Houk in Moving Violations (1985), and Lana in Earth Girls Are Easy (1988).
Early life and career
Born in Montrose, Iowa, she began her career in the family tent show, appearing as a toddler (called "Baby Nedra"). The act continued until she was 11 years old and had outgrown the act's title. She unsuccessfully tried acting in high school, which led her to pursue music.
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 Volz managed to appear on exactly one 78 side, with Will Osborne's orchestra in 1933. In 1932, Volz and two other singers from Cato's orchestra performed as "Nedra, Paul, and Glenn" on WHAM radio in Rochester, New York.
In 1940, Volz, described as a "blues songstress", was part of a vaudeville revue in Miami, Florida.
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. Volz 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 1977:1201 and as Bill Macy's housekeeper Pinky Nolan in Hanging In in 1979.:428 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.
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.:291 In the 1982–83 season, Volz was the matriarch on Filthy Rich,:342 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 continued as a guest star 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.
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.
|1973||Your Three Minutes Are Up||Free Pass Lady|
|1977||Mule Feathers||Clamity Jane|
|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||Earth Girls Are Easy||Lana|
|1993||Betrayal of the Dove||Opal Vaneck|
|1994||Il silenzio dei prosciutti||Ranger's wife|
|1996||The Great White Hype||Old Lady||(final film role)|
|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|
|1976–1977||Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman||Mrs. DeFarge / Barbie||19 episodes |
Recurring role (Season 2)
|1976–1982||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|
|1978–1980||Eight Is Enough||Mrs. Yaterman||2 episodes|
|1978||Apple Pie||Mrs. Cassidy||Episode: Tornado|
|1978–1980||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|
|1980–1984||Diff'rent Strokes||Adelaide Brubaker||22 episodes |
Recurring role (Seasons 2–4) Guest star (Season 6)
|1980||Condominium||Mrs. Conlaw||Television film|
|1980||Quincy M.E.||Gladys||Episode: T.K.O.|
|1980||The Stockard Channing Show||Mother Clyde||Episode: Susan's Big Break|
|1980||Gridlock||Mrs. Felcher||Television film|
|1980–1984||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|
|1982–1983||Filthy Rich||Winona 'Mother B' Beck||15 episodes |
Main cast (Seasons 1–2)
|1983||Insight||Mrs. Minerva||Dutton's Choice|
|1983–1984||Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour||Herself (panelist)||45 episodes|
|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|
|1984–1986||Gimme a Break!||Maid||3 episodes|
|1985–1986||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|
|1987–1988||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|
|1990–1991||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|
|1993–1994||Step by Step||Mrs. Slezak / Shirley||2 episodes|
- Oliver, Myrna (January 29, 2003). "Nedra Volz, 94; TV Actress Played Many 'Old Lady' Roles". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
- Dugan, Laurel Call (January 31, 1981). "Nedra Volz--sprightly actress a '10' for all seasons". Los Angeles Times. p. 244. Retrieved September 1, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- Simon, George T. (2012). The Big Bands. Schirmer Trade Books. ISBN 978-0-8571-2812-6. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
- "Musicians Return". Democrat and Chronicle. New York, Rochester. October 2, 1932. p. 5. Retrieved September 1, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Strand And Grove Offer Stage Shows". The Miami News. May 17, 1940. p. 11. Retrieved September 1, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. p. 260. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.