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Ellen Corby

Ellen Corby was born Ellen Hansen in Racine, Wisconsin, on June 3, 1911. She was the daughter of Danish immigrants and was raised in Philadelphia. She decided to make to the move to Hollywood in 1933 after winning several talent shows. Although she did some acting work, she also worked for some time as a script girl for RKO and then at the Hal Roach studios. It was here that she met and married Francis Corby and although the marriage didn't last, she kept the name of Corby.

Following her appearance in The Homecoming she became the only adult to be retained from the movie cast to appear in the series The Waltons. Her role as Esther Walton, earned her several Emmy awards, and she stayed with the show until 1976, when she suffered from a stroke which affected one side of her body as well as her speech. Her stroke was written into The Waltons storylines and during season five we saw Grandpa having to adjust to life without Esther by his side. Corby returned to the show at the end of season 6 and stayed on in a minor capacity.

Ellen Corby has continued to delight viewers, and has returned to our screens in the movie specials of The Waltons, the latest one being A Walton Easter which was televised in 1997. She has just celebrated her 87th birthday.