Facts about Irene Ryan
Irene Ryan Biography
Irene Ryan was a favorite with TV viewers as Granny, the feisty, shotgun-toting old bird on the sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies.
Irene Ryan already had enjoyed a long career as a character actor: she and her first husband, Tim Ryan, had a vaudeville act which became the radio show Ted and Irene. She also toured with comedian Bob Hope and made regular appearances on his radio show.
The Beverly Hillbillies ran on the CBS network from from 1962-71. The show was about a family from the sticks who strike oil, get filthy rich, and move from their rural shack to a mansion in Beverly Hills, bringing their countrified ways with them. After the show ended, Ryan established the Irene Ryan Acting Competition, providing annual scholarships for promising student actors.
In 1972 she created the role of Berthe in the Bob Fosse-directed Broadway musical Pippin, in which she sang the show-stopping number “No Time At All.” Irene Ryan was nominated for a 1973 Tony Award for her work in Pippin. That same year she died after suffering a stroke onstage during a performance of the show.
Irene Ryan is no relation to actress Meg Ryan.
Something in Common with Irene Ryan
- Actors born in Texas (45)
4 Good Links
- The Museum of Broadcast Communications has in-depth analysis (now at Archive.org)
- Her 1973 obituary from The New York Times
- Official site with info on the annual awards she established
- The IMDB lists all her film and TV shows