Jane Darwell

A heavy-set character player with a hearty voice and a slightly worried expression, Jane Darwell was often cast in matronly roles. Although she played a wide variety of roles (including an unsympathetic part as one of ... Read more »
Born: 10/15/1879 in Palmyra, Missouri, USA


Actor (81)

Mary Poppins 1964 (Movie)

Bird Woman (Actor)

Hound Dog Man 1958 (Movie)

Grandma WIlson (Actor)

The Last Hurrah 1958 (Movie)

Delia (Actor)

There's Always Tomorrow 1956 (Movie)

Mrs Rogers (Actor)

Hit the Deck 1955 (Movie)

Jenny (Actor)

The Bigamist 1953 (Movie)

Mrs Connelly (Actor)

Affair With a Stranger 1952 (Movie)

Ma Stanton (Actor)

We're Not Married 1952 (Movie)

Mrs. Bush (Actor)

Caged 1950 (Movie)

Isolation Matron (Actor)

Redwood Forest Trail 1950 (Movie)


The Lemon Drop Kid 1950 (Movie)

Nellie Thursday (Actor)

Wagonmaster 1950 (Movie)

Sister Ledyard (Actor)

Three Godfathers 1948 (Movie)


My Darling Clementine 1946 (Movie)


The Ox-Bow Incident 1942 (Movie)

Jenny Grier (Actor)

All Through the Night 1941 (Movie)


The Devil and Daniel Webster 1940 (Movie)

Ma Stone (Actor)

The Grapes of Wrath 1940 (Movie)

Ma Joad (Actor)

Jesse James 1938 (Movie)

Mrs. Samuels (Actor)

The Rains Came 1938 (Movie)


Ramona 1935 (Movie)


The Scarlet Empress 1933 (Movie)

Sophia's Mother (Actor)

Wonder Bar 1933 (Movie)


Air Hostess (Movie)

Ma Kearns (Actor)

Ann Vickers (Movie)

Mrs. Gates (Actor)

Brigham Young (Movie)

Eliza Kent (Actor)

Bright Eyes (Movie)

Mrs. Higgins (Actor)

Captain January (Movie)

Eliza Croft (Actor)

Chad Hanna (Movie)

Mrs. Huguenine (Actor)

Child of Manhattan (Movie)

Mrs. McGonegal (Actor)

Craig's Wife (Movie)

Mrs. Harold (Actor)

Curly Top (Movie)

Mrs. Denham (Actor)

Dangerously Yours (Movie)

Aunt Cynthia (Actor)

David Harum (Movie)


Design for Living (Movie)

Housekeeper (Actor)

Excuse My Dust (Movie)

Mrs. Belden (Actor)

Fashions of 1934 (Movie)

Dowager (Actor)

Father's Wild Game (Movie)


Fifty Roads to Town (Movie)

Mrs. Henry (Actor)

Fighting Caravans (Movie)

Pioneer Woman (Actor)

Finishing School (Movie)

Maud the Head Nurse (Actor)

Five of a Kind (Movie)

Mrs. Waldron (Actor)

Gildersleeve's Bad Day (Movie)

Aunt Emma (Actor)

Government Girl (Movie)

Miss Trask (Actor)

Grand Jury Secrets (Movie)

Mrs. Keefe (Actor)

Happiness Ahead (Movie)


Hot Saturday (Movie)

Mrs. Brock (Actor)

It Happened in Flatbush (Movie)

Mrs. Maguire (Actor)

Journey into Light (Movie)

Mack (Actor)

Little Miss Broadway (Movie)

Miss Hutchins (Actor)

Love Is News (Movie)

Mrs. Flaherty (Actor)

Million Dollar Ransom (Movie)


Music in Manhattan (Movie)

Mrs. Pearson (Actor)

No One Man (Movie)

Patient (Actor)

Once to Every Woman (Movie)

Mrs. Wood (Actor)

One Night of Love (Movie)

Mary's Mother (Actor)

One Sunday Afternoon (Movie)

Mrs. Lind (Actor)

Only Yesterday (Movie)

Mrs. Lane (Actor)

Private Number (Movie)

Mrs. Meecham (Actor)

Roman Scandals (Movie)

Beauty Salon Manager (Actor)

She's a Sweetheart (Movie)

Mom (Actor)

Slave Ship (Movie)

Mrs. Marlowe (Actor)

Sunday Dinner for a Soldier (Movie)

Mrs. Dobson (Actor)

Tender Comrade (Movie)

Mrs. Henderson (Actor)

The Country Doctor (Movie)

Mrs. Graham (Actor)

The Dark Horse (Movie)

Aunt Hattie (Actor)

The Great Gildersleeve (Movie)

Aunt Emma (Actor)

The Impatient Years (Movie)

Minister's Wife (Actor)

The Loves of Edgar Allan Poe (Movie)

Mrs. Clemm (Actor)

The Poor Little Rich Girl (Movie)

Mrs. Woodward (Actor)

The Second Face (Movie)

Mrs. Lockridge (Actor)

The Singing Marine (Movie)

Ma Marine (Actor)

The Sun Shines Bright (Movie)

Mrs. Amora Ratchitt (Actor)

The White Parade (Movie)

Miss "Sailor" Roberts (Actor)

Three Husbands (Movie)

Mrs. Wurdeman (Actor)

Time out for Murder (Movie)

Polly (Actor)

Wake up and Dream (Movie)

Woman (Actor)

Washington Merry-Go-Round (Movie)


Wife, Doctor and Nurse (Movie)

Mrs. Krueger (Actor)

Young America (Movie)



A heavy-set character player with a hearty voice and a slightly worried expression, Jane Darwell was often cast in matronly roles. Although she played a wide variety of roles (including an unsympathetic part as one of the lynchers in the memorable "The Ox-Bow Incident" 1943) in a career spanning well over 100 credits from the early 1930s through the mid-60s, she was most typically seen as concerned, warm-hearted mothers. For many fans, Darwell will always be remembered for her towering, Oscar-winning performance as Ma Joad in John Ford's stirring adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940). One of her last screen appearances was as an elderly woman seen tossing crumbs to the pigeons while Julie Andrews warbled "Feed the Birds" in "Mary Poppins" (1964).


claimed to be a descendent of Andrew Jackson



Final screen role, the beloved Bird Woman in "Mary Poppins"


Reteamed with John Carradine and John Ford on "The Last Hurrah"


Had a featured guest role in the TV series "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" (ABC)


Played the isolation matron in John Cromwell's women in prison drama "Caged", starring Eleanor Parker


Reteamed with John Ford and Henry Fonda in the western "My Darling Clementine"


Played the titular skipper in "Captain Tugboat Annie"


Gave a powerful performance as one of the lynchers in "The Ox-Bow Incident"


Featured in "The Devil and Daniel Webster"


Played the indomitable Ma Joad in "The Grapes of Wrath"; won Best Supporting Actress Oscar


Acted in "Gone With the Wind"


Had a featured role as the strong-willed, ill-fated mother of "Jesse James"


Final collaboration with Temple, "Little Miss Broadway"


Featured in the Shirley Temple films "Captain January" and "The Poor Little Rich Girl"


Co-starred with Temple as a matchmaking matron in "Curly Top"


Was featured alongside Shirley Temple in "Bright Eyes" and "Change of Heart"


Reprised role of Widow Douglas in the follow up "Huckleberry Finn"


Played the kindhearted Widow Douglas alongside Jackie Coogan's "Tom Sawyer"


Last film for 15 years, "The Goose Girl"


Starred in the suspenseful silent "The Master Mind"


Acted in Cecil B DeMille's "Rose of the Rancho" and "The Only Son"


Made film acting debut at age 33 in the silent "Head Hunters"


Made stage debut

Guested on several episodes of the popular western TV series "Wagon Train" (NBC)

Featured in dozens of silent films