Grateful for the Dows

As a former Pierce College student of Ellen Albertini Dow, “The Wedding Singer’s” rapper grandma, I found myself remembering the influence both she and Eugene Dow had on my life (“Newfound Fame for ‘Singer’s’ Grandma,” by Brett Johnson, Feb. 21). Your article, however, was too small to cover the generosity and spirit of this tiny lady and her husband, who still reminds me of Gen. Patton.

A working writer-producer today, I studied with Eugene Dow for four semesters when I was just out of high school. I was shy and scared, but he raised me up with knowledge of theater and film and gave me confidence. He was a tough taskmaster and so was his wife. Both of them were dedicated to the craft. It was always about the work and being well-trained. They were an amazing couple and we were their children.

As a then-wannabe actor, I was fortunate to have been drilled by Ellen Dow in “HMS Pinafore.” She drilled me right off the stage, as she gently said to me, which I won’t forget, “You are a wonderful writer, honey, but you must never appear in an operetta again.” I never did.

It’s great to see her working in films now. She paid her dues, believe me. But she and her husband paid dues for others too. The Dows were there for their students 20 years ago. It’s time to say thanks.


Thanks, Dows.


Sherman Oaks