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Happy Birthday, Beulah Bondi, 3rd of May

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  • Happy Birthday, Beulah Bondi, 3rd of May

    Thanks to Aveleyman's daily list of birthdays, I realised that Beulah Bondi's birthday was today. Beulah Bondi was the kind of marvelous character actor who could make me watch a film I knew nothing about except that she was in it. She was usually, not always, someone's aunt or mum or a kindly neighbour, but she had presence, and when she was on screen I couldn't help but watch what she was doing.

    She was nominated for two Oscars and won an Emmy for one of my favourite episodes of "The Waltons,": 'The Pony Cart.' I liked her with James Stewart and especially their "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."

    Born 3rd May, 1889, Chicago, IL. and died at the age of 91 on 11th January 1981, in Woodland Hills, Calif.
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  • #2
    Beulah often played James Stewart's mother in films, most memorably in It's a Wonderful Life. When, later in Stewart's career, he had a television show in which his "mother" had to appear, Beulah came out of retirement to play the role at his request.

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    • #3
      And Stewart knew the perfect "mother" to invite to appear. I never saw that episode but wish I had. Thanks! as a P.S., as I look at the pic of Bondi and Stewart
      together, they kind of resemble each other too. Very nice.

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      • #4
        I remember her best as the mother in the excellent western "Track of the Cat"!

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        • Shirley Brahms
          Shirley Brahms commented
          Editing a comment
          I remember enjoying that movie, too. Also an excellent cast.

      • #5
        Beulah turned up today on BBC2 in Vivacious Lady (1938) . . . playing James Stewart's mother!

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        • #6
          I've never known how she pronounced "Bondi" - whether it was "Bondy" or "Bon-dye". The IMDb tells me she was born "Beulah Bondy". Presumably that's the answer.

          "Beulah changed the spelling of her last name from Bondy to Bondi so the letters would all fit on one line for top billing on movie marquees. The "y" in Bondy was problematic since it would fall below the other letters and cause spacing issues. It was reported that the name change was due to A. O. Bondy's (her father) ill feelings towards Beulah's acting career. Quite the contrary. A. O. Bondy was manager of the Memorial Opera House at the time Beulah got her big break as Little Lord Fauntleroy." ~IMDb Biography.
          Last edited by Shirley Brahms; 23rd May 2020, 06:30 AM.

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          • #7
            Came across Beulah yesterday in Shepherd of The Hills with John Wayne and Harry Carey.

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