Spring Byington

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


Actor (20)

December Bride 1954 - 1960 (TV Show)


Please Don't Eat the Daisies 1960 (Movie)

Mrs Suzie Robinson (Actor)

The Desilu Revue 1959 - 1960 (TV Show)


Angels in the Outfield 1950 (Movie)

Sister Edwitha (Actor)

Louisa 1950 (Movie)


Heaven Can Wait 1942 (Movie)


The War Against Mrs. Hadley 1941 (Movie)


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)


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)


Werewolf of London 1934 (Movie)

Miss Ettie Coombes (Actor)

Little Women 1932 (Movie)


Laramie (TV Show)



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"


Lois Chandler


Phyllis Chandler


Edward Byington

Canadian died c. 1897

Helene Byington

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

Helene Byington


Roy Chandler

married c. 1912 divorced c. 1917


attended high school in Colorado



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


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


Starred in the radio production "December Bride"


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Portrayed Marmee in the film version of "Little Women"


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


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


Breakthrough stage role in "Beggar on Horseback"


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


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


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