Jessie Royce Landis: Actress (1896 - 1972) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Jessie Royce Landis

Jessie Royce Landis

Jessie Royce Landis
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Actress
Was Actor Stage actor Television actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 25 November 1896, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, U.S.A.
Death 2 February 1972, Danbury, Fairfield County, Connecticut, U.S.A. (aged 75 years)
Star sign Sagittarius
The details (from wikipedia)


Jessie Royce Landis (November 25, 1896 – February 2, 1972) was an American actress.

Early life

Jessie Royce Landis was born Jessie Medbury in Chicago, Illinois, to Paul, an orchestra musician, and Ella Medbury. As per Ancestry.com, "Royce" does not appear to have been her middle name by birth; her middle initial is cited as either "J." or "T". Her acting surname "Landis" derives from her first husband, although she was married twice more.


Landis was a stage actress for much of her career. In the 1950s, she began appearing in movies as a character actress, most notably in To Catch a Thief (1955), and North by Northwest (1959), both starring Cary Grant and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. In North by Northwest she played Grant's character's mother, and in To Catch a Thief and The Swan (1956), she played the mothers of Grace Kelly's characters. Landis also made many television appearances.

Age controversy

Landis's appearance in North by Northwest earned her publicity for portraying Cary Grant's mother despite claiming to be nearly a year younger. Landis listed 1904 as the year of her birth, a date now given by many printed biographies and online sources. However, in the tradition of many actresses, she had actually shaved years off her age – in this instance, eight. She appears in the 1900 U.S. Census as a 3-year-old born in November 1896, and so was seven years older than Grant.


Landis was married three times. Her third husband and widower was United States Army Major General John F. R. "Jeff" Seitz (died 1978). Her autobiography, titled You Won't Be So Pretty (But You'll Know More), was published in 1954. She had no children.


Landis died of cancer in Danbury, Connecticut on February 2, 1972, aged 75.

Selected filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1930 Derelict Helen Lorber
1949 Mr. Belvedere Goes to College Mrs. Chase
1949 It Happens Every Spring Mrs. Greenleaf
1949 My Foolish Heart Martha Winters
1950 Mother Didn't Tell Me Mrs. Wright
1952 Meet Me Tonight Olive Lloyd Ransome: Ways and Means
1953 Main Street to Broadway Jessie Royce Landis - First Nighter Uncredited
1955 To Catch a Thief Jessie Stevens
1956 Climax! Olivia Chesney Episode: "An Episode of Sparrows"
1956 The Swan Princess Beatrix
1956 The Girl He Left Behind Mrs. Madeline Shaeffer
1957 My Man Godfrey Angelica Bullock
1958 I Married a Woman Mrs. Blake, Janice's Mother
1959 North by Northwest Clara Thornhill
1959 A Private's Affair Elizabeth T. Chapman
1960 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Claire Crane Episode: "Mother, May I Go Out to Swim?"
1960 Thriller Mrs. Killburn Episode: "The Mark of the Hand"
1961 Goodbye Again Mrs. Van der Besh
1962 Bon Voyage! Countessa 'La Comtesse' DuFresne
1962 Boys' Night Out Ethel Williams
1963 Critic's Choice Charlotte Orr aka Charlie
1963 Gidget Goes to Rome Albertina Blythe
1965 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Madame Olga Nemirovitch Episode: "The Adriatic Express Affair"
1970 Airport Mrs. Harriet DuBarry Mossman
1971 Columbo Mrs. Chadwick Episode: "Lady in Waiting", (final television appearance)

Radio appearances

Year Program Episode/source
1944 Grand Central Station NA
1953 Theatre Guild on the Air Quiet Wedding
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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