Gloria Henry, ‘Dennis the Menace’ Mother, Dies at 98avril 5, 2021
Over the next three years she appeared in at least 17 films, more often than not in the starring role. A number of her films were westerns, like “Adventures in Silverado” (1948), “Law of the Barbary Coast” (1949) and “Lightning Guns” (1950). In two films — “The Strawberry Roan” (1948) and “Riders in the Sky” (1949) — she starred opposite Gene Autry, getting third billing, after Autry and his horse.
She also appeared in several sports comedies, including “Triple Threat” (1948), with Richard Crane, and “Kill the Umpire” (1950), with William Bendix. Her best-known film was probably “Rancho Notorious” (1952), which was directed by Fritz Lang and starred Marlene Dietrich.
Once Ms. Henry had made her television debut, in a 1952 episode of “Fireside Theater,” she devoted her career almost exclusively to series TV. Over four decades, on and off, she appeared in shows from “My Little Margie,” “Perry Mason” and “The Life of Riley” to “Dallas,” “Newhart” and “Doogie Howser, M.D.”
Her final television appearance was on a 2012 episode of the sitcom “Parks and Recreation.”
Ms. Henry’s first marriage, in 1943 to Robert D. Lamb, ended in divorce in 1948. She married Craig Ellwood, the California Modernist architect, in 1949. They divorced in 1977. In addition to her daughter, she is survived by two sons, Jeffrey and Adam, and a granddaughter.
Ms. Henry, who kept in touch with Mr. North over the years, often commented on her “Dennis the Menace” character’s amazing restraint with her son. “I wasn’t allowed to yell at Jay North,” she told The Los Angeles Times at a 1989 gathering of actresses who had played famous mothers on television. “It was difficult. Being a normal, in-reality mother, I yelled at my children a lot.”