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Ellen Albertini Dow

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Also Known As: Ellen Albertini, Ellen Dow Died:
Born: November 16, 1918 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: actor, drama teacher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

When audiences saw the trailer for the romantic comedy film "The Wedding Singer" (1998), many took note of the petite elderly woman performing "Rapper's Delight" and asked "Who is she?" The answer is Ellen Albertini Dow, a veteran of NYC's Yiddish theater and a former drama teacher in L.A. Although coy about her age, Dow has been playing feisty old women since she resumed her acting career in the mid-1980s with a chilling turn as a mass murderer on an episode of "The Twilight Zone" (CBS, 1985). Since then, she played small roles in numerous TV shows (e.g., "Family Matters", "The Golden Girls", "Murphy Brown") and a handful of films ("Tough Guys" 1986; "Sister Act" 1992). Dow offered a memorable guest turn on a 1995 episode of "Seinfeld" as J Peterman's elderly mother. But it was her performance as a woman celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary who surprises her guests with a hip-hop number that made people take notice. Director Frank Coraci had cast Dow primarily on the strength of her rendition of the 1959 classic "Til There Was You" which she also performed in the film. Audiences were primed for her appearance as a cocaine-snorting oldster in the disco-flavored "54" (also 1998). ...

When audiences saw the trailer for the romantic comedy film "The Wedding Singer" (1998), many took note of the petite elderly woman performing "Rapper's Delight" and asked "Who is she?" The answer is Ellen Albertini Dow, a veteran of NYC's Yiddish theater and a former drama teacher in L.A. Although coy about her age, Dow has been playing feisty old women since she resumed her acting career in the mid-1980s with a chilling turn as a mass murderer on an episode of "The Twilight Zone" (CBS, 1985). Since then, she played small roles in numerous TV shows (e.g., "Family Matters", "The Golden Girls", "Murphy Brown") and a handful of films ("Tough Guys" 1986; "Sister Act" 1992). Dow offered a memorable guest turn on a 1995 episode of "Seinfeld" as J Peterman's elderly mother. But it was her performance as a woman celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary who surprises her guests with a hip-hop number that made people take notice. Director Frank Coraci had cast Dow primarily on the strength of her rendition of the 1959 classic "Til There Was You" which she also performed in the film. Audiences were primed for her appearance as a cocaine-snorting oldster in the disco-flavored "54" (also 1998).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Lonely Street (2009)
4.
 Fat Girls (2006)
5.
 Wedding Crashers (2005) Cast
6.
 Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights (2002) Voice Of See'S Candies Box
7.
 Ready to Rumble (2000) Mrs Mackenzie
8.
 Road Trip (1999) Barry'S Grandma
9.
 54 (1998) Disco Dottie
10.
 Patch Adams (1998) Aggie
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born and raised in Pennsylvania
1938:
Worked in theater in NYC, including appearances in Yiddish theater
1952:
Moved to Los Angeles with her husband
:
Taught drama, dance and mime for 32 years at Los Angeles City College and Pierce College
1985:
Resumed acting career with appearance as a mass murderer on an episode of "The Twilight Zone" (CBS)
1986:
Had bit role in "Tough Guys"
1988:
Appeared in the TV-movie "Wedding Day Blues"
1990:
First played a nun in "My Blue Heaven"
1992:
Appeared as one of the nuns in the choir in "Sister Act"
1993:
Reprised role as a choir nun in "Sister Act 2"
1995:
Made memorable guest appearance on NBC's "Seinfeld" as thee dying mother of J Peterman
1998:
Garnered attention for her supporting performance in "The Wedding Singer"
1998:
Played a cocaine-snorting senior citizen in "54"
2001:
Had regular role as a grandmother on the fall sitcom "Maybe It's Me" (The WB)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Cornell University: Ithaca , New York -
Cornell University: Ithaca , New York -

Notes

"This is all God's doing. I was content just to have three or four lines in a sitcom. I didn't expect all of this." --Ellen Albertini Dow in LOS ANGELES TIMES, February 21, 1998

About not revealing her age: "I don't think it's a pertinent thing. Also, I am definitely an elderly woman, but I'm told all the time, for what it's worth, that I have a very young attitude.

But I've got plenty of lines on my face. I've never done a thing to it. What you see is what you get: It's all natural!" --quoted in USA TODAY, February 19, 1998

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Eugene Dow. Married in 1951.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Ellen Albertini.

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