Irene Tedrow; Actress on Radio, Stage and Screen


Irene Tedrow, veteran actress of radio, television, stage and cinema who played the mother in the long-running radio and television series “Meet Corliss Archer,” has died. She was 87.

Miss Tedrow died March 10 in her North Hollywood home of complications from a stroke she suffered in 1989, her daughter, Enid Kent Sperber, said this week.

The actress’s career spanned 60 years and included more than 50 films, hundreds of radio and television shows, and frequent appearances on the stages of Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum and San Diego’s Old Globe. In addition to her familiar roles as mothers and grandmothers, she played about 18 Shakespearean heroines with the Maurice Evans Company on Broadway, at the 1934 Chicago World’s Fair and at the Old Globe.

She made her film debut in 1937 and played character roles in such films as “They Won’t Forget,” “Foul Play,” “Cincinnati Kid,” “Santa Fe Passage” and “The Parent Trap.”


On television, Miss Tedrow won Emmy nominations for her portrayal of Eleanor Roosevelt’s grandmother in “Eleanor and Franklin,” and for a performance on “James at 16.” One of her most popular stage roles was as Mrs. Webb in an all-star revival of “Our Town” with Henry Fonda and the Plumstead Playhouse.

Miss Tedrow’s last public performance was in the Mark Taper Forum production of Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” during a cultural exchange trip to Poland in 1988.

A widow, she is survived by her daughter and a son, Roger Kent of Sausalito, and three grandchildren.

The family asks that memorial donations be made to the Actor’s Fund of America.