Jane Darwell, Best Supporting
Actress 1940: MovieActors.com
THE GRAPES OF WRATH (Drama)
Jane Darwell won her Supporting Oscar for playing
Ma Joad in Steinbeck's Pulitzer prize-winning novel
and film classic... THE GRAPES OF WRATH.
Jane Darwell (1879 – 1967)
Jane Darwell was a character actress from Missouri, who worked in silent films. Her father, a railroad president, disapproved of her desire to go on the stage, as either an opera singer or an actress. Therefore, she delayed her first appearance on the stage until age 33, changing her name from Woodward to Darwell.
Jane Darwell entered the film profession during the silent era, playing in over 20 films, starting when she was 40 years old. She continued to work in talkies, often playing sweet grandmas and housekeepers, including five Shirley Temple movies.
Jane Darwell won a Supporting Oscar for playing Ma Joad, mother of a tough family of itinerant farm workers, in Steinbeck's Pulitzer prize-winning novel and 1940 film classic THE GRAPES OF WRATH, directed by John Ford, and starring Henry Fonda. Jane Darwell played a vigilante, who shoots the horse out from under a lynching victim, in THE OX-BOW INCIDENT, also with Henry Fonda.
Darwell later quipped, “I've played Henry Fonda's mother so often that, whenever we run into each other, I call him "Son" and he calls me "Ma", just to save time.”
Darwell was living in retirement at the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills, California, when Walt Disney visited her in person, to persuade her to play the Bird Woman in the Disney classic, MARY POPPINS (1964).
Jane Darwell's other films include:
BREWSTER'S MILLIONS (
TOM SAWYER (1930)
SLAVE SHIP (1937)
THREE BLIND MICE (1938)
JESSE JAMES (1936)
GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
ALL THAT MONEY CAN BUY (
THE OX BOW INCIDENT (1943)
CAPTAIN TUGBOAT ANNIE (1945)
MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946)
WAGON MASTER (1950)
THE LEMON DROP KID (1951)
HIT THE DECK (1955)
THE LAST HURRAH (1958)
HOUND-DOG MAN (1959)
MARY POPPINS (1964)
Jane Darwell's last film was MARY POPPINS as the Cockney birdwomen.