• 25 November 1896
  •  Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jessie Royce Landis


Jessie Royce Landis was called "an international star" in her New York Times obituary. She was 20 when she made her stage debut at the Playhouse in Chicago as the young countess in "The Highwayman". Soon she was on Broadway. In 1950 she went to London for "Larger Than Life", a dramatization of W. Somerset Maugham's novel, "Theatre". There she received an award for the best performance of the year. The following year in London she had the prima donna role (a singing part) in "And So To Bed". In 1954, she published her autobiography, "You Won't Be So Pretty". Then in the mid-1950s her film career took off after she was Grace Kelly's mother in To Catch a Thief (1955) and Cary Grant's mother in North by Northwest (1959). Although she claimed to have been born the same year as Grant, she was actually more than seven years older.