|Born||Zeffie Agnes Lydia Tilbury
November 20, 1863
Paddington, Middlesex, England
|Died||July 24, 1950
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||L. E. Woodthorpe (?–1915) (his death)
Arthur Frederick Lewis (1887–?)
Zeffie Tilbury was the only child of the variety performer Lydia Thompson and John Christian Tilbury, a riding-master, who died in a steeplechasing accident in 1864, when he was rolled on by his horse.
Born in Paddington, Middlesex, England, Tilbury was known first on the London stage and on Broadway in New York City. She is today best known for playing wise or evil older characters in films, such as the distinguished lady gambler at dinner with Garbo in The Single Standard, as the pitiful Grandma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath and Grandma Lester in Tobacco Road.
She appeared in over 70 films. Her earliest surviving silent film is the Valentino/Nazimova 1921 production of Camille. Tilbury is probably best remembered as the old lady who is befriended by Spanky and his friends on her birthday and, as a result, is transformed from a lonely, disagreeable recluse to a happy and loving carefree soul in the 1936 Hal Roach Our Gang comedy Second Childhood. In the same year she also portrayed the Gypsy Queen in the Laurel and Hardy film The Bohemian Girl.
- Blind Man's Lucky (1917)
- The Avalanche (1919)
- Clothes (1920)
- The Single Standard (1929)
- Charlie Chan Carries On (1931)
- Mistery Liner (1934)
- Werewolf of London (1935)
- Desire (1936)
- The Bohemian Girl (1936)
- Anthony Adverse (1936)
- Second Childhood (1936)
- Maid of Salem (1937)
- Arrest Bulldog Drummond (1939)
- Balalaika (1939)
- Tell No Tales (1939)
- The Grapes of Wrath (1940) as Grandma Joad
- Tobacco Road (1941)
- Zeffie Tilbury on Internet Movie Database
- Zeffie Tilbury at the Internet Broadway Database
- Zeffie Tilbury portrait at NYP Library
- Zeffie Tilbury at Find a Grave
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