‘Dennis the Menace’ actress Gloria Henry dead at 98: ‘She’s flying now’
5th April 2021

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Gloria Henry, who famously played beloved matriarch Alice Mitchell in the hit ‘60s sitcom “Dennis the Menace” died on Saturday. She was 98.

The star’s daughter and son confirmed their mother’s passing on social media. Henry’s death came one day after her birthday.

“She’s flying now, free of her body,” Erin Ellwood wrote on Instagram. “She left on a countdown 4 3 2 1 @ 3:40pm.”

“She was such an incredible woman in so many ways,” Ellwood shared. “This last year with her has been beautiful and heartbreaking. Thank you all for following me and supporting me on this journey – this beautiful land mine. Goodbye Momma, I love your guts forever.”

Gloria Henry (center) starred as Alice Mitchell in the CBS sitcom ‘Dennis the Menace’ alongside Jay North (left, as Dennis Mitchell) and Herbert Anderson (right, as Henry Mitchell). 
(Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

“It is with great sadness to let of all my dear and amazing mother’s fans know that she passed peacefully… in her home in Los Angeles,” Adam Ellwood wrote on Facebook, as quoted by Extra. 

According to the outlet, Adam shared Henry died surrounded by Erin, son Jeff Ellwood, as well as her hospice-care nurse.

“Please raise a glass and a toast to our beautiful mother Gloria Henry for a life well lived,” he wrote.

Gloria Eileen McEniry was born in New Orleans on April 2, 1923, The Hollywood Reporter shared. She worked in radio and signed a contract with Columbia Pictures, which led her to star in “Sport of Kings,” “Keeper of the Bees” and “Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back” in 1947. She made six films in 1948 and then seven more in 1949. 

Gloria Henry in her debut role for the movie ‘Sport Of Kings’.
(Photo by Columbia Pictures/De Carvalho Collection/Getty Images)

Henry notably starred opposite Gene Autry in 1948’s “The Strawberry Room” and 1949’s “Riders in the Sky.” She appeared with Lucille Ball and William Holden in 1949’s “Miss Grant Takes Richmond,” Nina Foch in 1949’s “Johnny Allegro” and Marlene Dietrich in 1952’s “Rancho Notorious.”

In the 1950s, Henry found herself playing a seductive siren in “The Abbot and Costello Show.” She also appeared in several popular TV shows, such as “My Little Margie,” “Father Knows Best” “Perry Mason” and “The Life of Riley.”

For four seasons starting in 1959, Henry starred as loving mother Alice Mitchell in “Dennis the Menace,” which also featured Herbert Anderson as her husband and Jay North as her mischievous son. The show was based on Hank Ketcham’s comic book character, The Hollywood Reporter noted. 

“Dennis the Menace” aired until 1963 but continued to live on for decades thanks to reruns.

Gloria Henry (center) with Rose Marie (left) and Ilene Graff in ‘Mr. Belvedere’.
(Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

“Many of the fans say, ‘Oh, I always wished you were my mom’ and ‘My mom was jealous of you because I wanted you for a mom,’” Henry later said in a 2011 interview. “Which is pretty funny, because I don’t think my own children felt that way. I have a daughter and two sons. All they knew was, I was off to work, and I wasn’t with them as much as they would have liked me to be.”

By the mid-‘60s, Henry took a break from acting and wouldn’t return to the screen until 1981’s “The Brady Brides,” a comedy that told the story of Marcia Brady Logan (Maureen McCormick) and Jan Brady Covington (Eve Plumb) and their lives as newlyweds with their husbands. Henry steadily worked over the years and made her mark on hit TV shows like “Newhart,” “Dallas” and “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” among others.

Henry’s last credited role was that of Mary-Elizabeth Clinch in 2012’s “Parks and Recreation.”

Henry was married to architect Craig Ellwood from 1949 until 1977. He died in 1992, People magazine reported. She leaves behind their three children.

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