1911 – Ellen Corby Born in Racine

On this date Ellen Corby (nee Ellen Hansen), TV’s Grandma Esther Walton, was born in Racine. The daughter of Danish parents, she grew up in Philadelphia and began her entertainment career in Hollywood as a chorus girl. She also worked as a script girl for RKO Radio Pictures for 12 years before making her 1946 film debut in "Dark Corner." Corby is best known for her Emmy Award-winning role on (1972-1979). Corby suffered a stroke in 1977. After a year’s convalescence, she resumed playing Grandma Walton, although she was visibly frail and unable to speak more than a mumble. After 1979, her character all but disappeared from the series only to reappear in the occasional made-for-TV movie/sequel featuring the Walton family. Corby appeared in over 100 films and is best known by movie fans for her role as the eccentric Aunt Trina in (1948), a role for which she received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. Corby died on April 14, 1999, at the age of 87, at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. [Source: ]