Jane Darwell played the mother to or mothered some of our greatest stars. She appeared in five Shirley Temple films. Her sometimes gruff but wise advice finally paid off for her in her Oscar winning performance as Ma Joad in the Grapes of Wrath. She is quoted as saying, “ 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.”
A mostly 20th Century Fox girl Jane played the goading Irish mother to Humphrey Bogart in the Gangster vs Nazi saboteur movie All Through the Night by Warner Brothers. Walt Disney personally asked her to come out of retirement to play the bird lady in Mary Poppins. A fitting tribute since we all know what Walt went through to get that project off the ground thanks to the movie Saving Mr. Banks. A great career for a great lady!