Jane Darwell


Jane Darwell

Original Name Patti Woodard
Palmyra, Marion County, Missouri, USA
Death 13 Aug 1967 (aged 87)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Whispering Pines section, Map #03, Lot 1817, Single Ground Interment Space 2
Memorial ID 3715 View Source
Suggest Edits

Actress. Born Patti Woodard in Palmyra, Missouri, her father was a railroad executive who disapproved of her interest in theatre. Despite the disapproval, she continued working in theatre and made her film debut in 1912. It would be the first of over 200 film performances. Her first notable performances in talking pictures came in 1930 and 1931 when she played the part of the Widow Douglas in the films "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn." Throughout the 1930s she continued to play roles mostly as a governess or housekeeper. Among her credits were the Shirley Temple films "Bright Eyes," "Curly Top," and "Poor Little Rich Girl." Her career took a new path when she landed the role as the James Brothers' mother in the 1939 Tyrone Power/Henry Fonda film "Jesse James." It would be the first of several times she would play the mother of Henry Fonda on film. One of those times came in 1940 when she won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of Ma Joad in the classic film "The Grapes Of Wrath". She continued playing character parts into the late 1950s including television guest appearances on shows such as "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin," "My Friend Flicka," "Maverick," "Wagon Train," and "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour." By the late 1950s illness had forced her into retirement. Then, in 1963 while living at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital she was personally sought out by Walt Disney who wanted her for a part in his new film. She tearfully accepted his offer. The small, but important role of the Bird Woman in the "Feed The Birds" sequence of "Mary Poppins" would be the final performance in her career.

Bio by: Decal



Family Members



In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees



How famous was Jane Darwell?

Current rating:

282 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 21 Oct 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial 3715
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jane Darwell (15 Oct 1879–13 Aug 1967), Find a Grave Memorial ID 3715, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .