The Rapping Granny From ‘The Wedding Singer’ Dead at 101
Ellen Albertini Dow, the character actress best known for her scene-stealing performance in the 1998 Adam Sandler comedy The Wedding Singer, passed away yesterday. She was 101 years old.
Born on November 16, 1913, Dow spent most of her career acting on the stage on both coasts before settling into a teaching gigs at Los Angeles City College and Pierce College. However, she received her first screen role in 1985 when she was cast in American Drive-In at the age of 72. Her career finally ignited, Dow spent the next three decades making up for lost time, appearing in 103 films and TV shows.
Although she’s best known for playing Adam Sandler’s rapping grandmother in 1998’s The Wedding Singer (and her rendition of “Rapper’s Delight” was on the film’s massively popular soundtrack), Dow’s filmography is filled with countless cultural touchstones. She guest starred on shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation, Seinfeld, E.R., Family Matters, Quantum Leap and The Golden Girls. She popped up in films like Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Patch Adams, Wedding Crashers and Radioland Murders.
Dow never stopped working and the final decade of her life was filled with roles in everything from Scrubs and The New Girl to Family Guy and Six Feet Under. Like the best character actresses, she was omnipresent while remaining totally invisible.