Ellen Albertini Dow
Nov. 16th, 1918
Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, USA
Ellen Albertini Dow's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2009 - Lonely Street
2006 - Fat Girls
2005 - Wedding Crashers
2002 - Eight Crazy Nights
2000 - Road Trip
2000 - Ready to Rumble
1998 - The Wedding Singer
1998 - 54
1998 - Patch Adams
1998 - Carnival of Souls
1994 - Radioland Murders
1993 - Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit
1992 - Memoirs of an Invisible Man
1992 - Sister Act
1987 - Munchies
1987 - Walk Like A Man
1986 - Tough Guys
Guest TV Roles
Old Woman (segment "The Storyteller")
Ellen Albertini Dow (born November 16, 1918) is an American character actress. She often portrays feisty old ladies and is perhaps best known as the rapping grandmother in the 1998 motion picture The Wedding Singer. Other film roles include the homophobic grandmother in Wedding Crashers, Disco Dottie in 54, the recipient of Christopher Lloyd's slapstick in Radioland Murders, and a choir member in Sister Act.
Life and career Dow was born in 1918 in Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania, the seventh child of ethnic Italian immigrant parents from Tyrol, Austria. Her father, Oliver, was a car dealership owner, and her mother was also named Ellen. She studied dance and piano at age five. She obtained a B.A. and M.A. in theatre from Cornell University, where she became a member of Kappa Delta Sorority. She then moved to New York, where she studied and worked with legendary dancers Hanya Holm and Martha Graham.
Dow studied acting with Michael Shurtleff and Uta Hagen, and worked with mimes Marcel Marceau and Jacques Lecoq in Paris. She performed comedy in the Borscht Belt and at the Second Avenue Theatre in New York with Menasha Skulnik and Molly Picon. She performed in summer stock companies in Massachusetts, Long Island, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, and directed and choreographed stage productions such as The Beggar's Opera at Carnegie Recital Hall, The Magic Flute, and Julius Caesar with German musical director Hugo Strelitzer. She also founded the Albertini Mime Players and was its producer for 19 years.
Dow's television work includes appearances in such television series as Will & Grace, Seinfeld, The Golden Girls, Hannah Montana, Scrubs, and According to Jim.
- She taught drama & dance for 30 years.
- Educated at Cornell University.
- Raised in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania.
- Is a member of Kappa Delta Sorority.
- Did the actual rapping in "The Wedding Singer" which appears on the CD soundtrack
- Husband Eugene "Gene" Dow Jr. was a teacher (1957-1983) and the founder of the theater arts department at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, California, in addition to being a director, writer, composer and decorated WWII hero. During his tenure he became a mentor to such actors as Cindy Williams and Talia Shire.
- Was one of the "irregular" regulars on Golden Girls, playing more than 3 different bit characters during the show's run.
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