Such sad news! Ellen Albertini Dow, the rapping grandma who stole the show in 1998’s ‘The Wedding Singer,’ passed away on May 4 at the impressive age of 101. RIP, Ellen!
Ellen Albertini Dow led a full, long life highlighted by a striking career on stage and screen. Beloved for her role as Adam Sandler‘s, 48, badass rapping grandmother in The Wedding Singer, Ellen held a place in audience’s hearts no matter what role she played. She’ll be greatly missed.
Ellen Albertini Dow Dead: ‘The Wedding Singer’s’ Rapping Grandma Dies At 101
Ellen’s agent confirmed the sad news to Deadline; they did not offer any details about the cause of death. Born in 1913 in Pennsylvania, Ellen has had an illustrious acting and theater career that’s spanned two centuries — how can you honor a woman who has done so much?
The Wedding Singer just scratched the surface. Ellen studied acting in New York City, before leaving for Paris to work on miming with Marcel Marceau and Jacques LeCog. She then toured the Borscht Belt as part of a comedy troupe, skipped down to Los Angeles and became a drama professor at Los Angeles City College.
Later, at Pierce College, Ellen and husband Eugene Dow founded the university’s theater college, at which they both taught. Keep in mind that all these accomplishments are still in the 1970s. Are you tired yet?
Despite all her experience, Ellen didn’t make it onto the screen until the 1980’s! Can you believe that? She was already in her 70s by then, and quickly began racking up roles in shows over the next few decades, like Murphy Brown, The Golden Girls, The Wonder Years, Star Trek: The Next Generation, ER, Seinfeld, Six Feet Under and Scrubs.
You’ve probably caught her causing trouble in films like Studio 54, Sister Act and Wedding Crashers. Despite her advanced age, she kept filming until recently, appearing on New Girl and Shameless.
What a resume!
When ‘The Wedding Singer’ Changed It All
In Ellen’s career — and in Adam’s movies — there’s no image more iconic than the sight of a sweet little old lady hopping up to the mic, dressed in her finest lace dress and a pink shawl to get down and boogie. It’s a wedding after all; someone has to get this party started!
Her squeaky rendition of the Sugarhill Gang classic “Rapper’s Delight” wasn’t just a hit in the movie; the film’s soundtrack featuring the song made the Billboard Top 5 and went Double Platinum.
Ellen, we’ll miss you dearly!
HollywoodLifers, please help us celebrate Ellen in the comments below!
— Samantha Wilson