Spring Byington

Actor
For over 30 years, Spring Byington balanced a prolific stage and radio career with strong supporting roles in film and television. She took up acting at a young age, and by 1910 she had joined a repertory company and ... Read more »
Born: 10/17/1893 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

Filmography

Actor (20)

December Bride 1954 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

Please Don't Eat the Daisies 1960 (Movie)

Mrs Suzie Robinson (Actor)

The Desilu Revue 1959 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

Angels in the Outfield 1950 (Movie)

Sister Edwitha (Actor)

Louisa 1950 (Movie)

(Actor)

Heaven Can Wait 1942 (Movie)

(Actor)

The War Against Mrs. Hadley 1941 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Devil and Miss Jones 1940 (Movie)

Elizabeth [Ellis] (Actor)

You Can't Take It With You 1938 (Movie)

Penny Sycamore (Actor)

Jezebel 1937 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Buccaneer 1937 (Movie)

Dolly Madison (Actor)

Dodsworth 1935 (Movie)

Matey Pearson (Actor)

Mutiny on the Bounty 1935 (Movie)

Mrs. Byam (Actor)

The Charge of the Light Brigade 1935 (Movie)

Lady Octavia Warrenton (Actor)

Theodora Goes Wild 1935 (Movie)

Rebecca Perry (Actor)

Broadway Hostess 1934 (Movie)

Mrs. Duncan-Griswald-Wembly-Smythe (Actor)

Love Me Forever 1934 (Movie)

(Actor)

Werewolf of London 1934 (Movie)

Miss Ettie Coombes (Actor)

Little Women 1932 (Movie)

(Actor)

Laramie (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

For over 30 years, Spring Byington balanced a prolific stage and radio career with strong supporting roles in film and television. She took up acting at a young age, and by 1910 she had joined a repertory company and embarked on a tour of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She married the theater company's manager and lived abroad for eight years before returning to New York in 1920. There she honed her comedic skills in numerous Broadway plays, and in 1930 she made her film debut in the short Christmas comedy "Papa's Slay Ride." Her next role, as the kindhearted Marmee in the critically acclaimed adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott novel "Little Women," became a stock character for the well-liked actress. Byington was a key player in many MGM films of the '30s and '40s, and appeared as the good-natured family matriarch in the popular "Jones family" series of comedies. In 1938, she garnered critical praise for her role as the eccentric Penny Sycamore in the award-winning romantic comedy "You Can't Take It with You." After turning in memorable performances as a stuffy mother in the fantasy romance "Heaven Can Wait" and as a sweet-faced con artist in the Gene Tierney comedy "Rings on Her Fingers," Byington was cast as the perky widow Lily Ruskin in the TV sitcom "December Bride," based on her popular radio serial, which aired for five seasons. Byington later appeared as kindly homemaker Daisy Cooper on the primetime Western series "Laramie"

Relationships

Lois Chandler

Daughter

Phyllis Chandler

Daughter

Edward Byington

Father
Canadian died c. 1897

Helene Byington

Mother
Canadian attended medical schools in Colorado and Boston, Massachusetts died c. 1909

Helene Byington

Sister

Roy Chandler

Husband
married c. 1912 divorced c. 1917

EDUCATION

attended high school in Colorado

Milestones

1960

Final film, "Please Don't Eat the Daisies"

1954

Reprised role in the TV series "December Bride" (CBS)

1953

Starred in the radio production "December Bride"

1951

Made TV appearance in "Charming Billy", an episode of "Bigelow-Sanford Theater" on the Dumont network

1950

Had one of her best career roles in "Louisa", as a widowed grandmother who is courted by two suitors

1943

Was the cruel mother of Dorothy Maguire in "The Enchanted Cottage"

1942

Continued in a maternal vein playing Judy Garland's parent in "Meet Lily Mars"

1941

Portrayed the nosy gossip columnist Mary Sunshine in "Roxie Hart", starring Ginger Rogers

1940

Appeared as Barbara Stanwyck's mom in "Meet John Doe"

1940

Cast as Shirley Temple's mother in the Technicolor feature "The Blue Bird"

1938

Received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for portrayal of the flighty mother of an eccentric family in "You Can't Take It With You", directed by Frank Capra

1937

Originated role of Mrs. Hardy in "A Family Affair"; role was played by Faye Holden in later installments of the series

1936

Co-starred in "Dodsworth" and "Theodora Goes Wild", among others

1936

Introduced a signature role as the matriarch of a typical American family in "Every Saturday Night"; in original film family's surname was Evers, but it was changed to Jones for a series of 17 sequels produced between 1936 and 1940

1935

Appeared in eight movies, including "Mutiny on the Bounty" and "Ah, Wilderness!"

1934

Made last Broadway appearances in "No Questions Asked", "Jig Saw" and "The First Apple"

1933

Portrayed Marmee in the film version of "Little Women"

1931

Acted in the short comedy film "Papa's Slay Ride"

1930

Enjoyed warm notices for performance in stage play "Once in a Lifetime"

1924

Breakthrough stage role in "Beggar on Horseback"

1917

After divorce from husband, moved to NYC to pursue an acting career (date approximate)

1912

Married at age 18 and moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina (date approximate)

1897

After father's death, sent with sister to live with relatives in Canada while mother completed medical training (date approximate)

Before "retiring" in the late 1960s, made guest appearances on "Batman" (as the wealthy J. Pauline Spaghetti) and "I Dream of Jeanie"

Had regular role on the CBS Western series "Laramie"

Spent two decades appearing in plays in NYC and touring in stock productions

Returned to Denver, Colorado; attended high school there

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