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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Esther Dale ESTHER DALE (1885-1961) is an American actress who typically played formidable domineering matrons and the occasional understanding mother. She began her career as a lieder singer. She developed into a competent stage actress. From 1934 to 1959, she had parts in one hundred films. From 1952 to 1960 she appeared in solitary episodes of various television shows. I saw her in episodes of "Maverick", "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis", and "The Donna Reed Show". I knew her by name after having seen her play Birdie Hicks in the "Ma and Pa Kettle" series. Despite her part as a stuck-up old bitty, there was just something about her, I liked. Esther Dale was very good in her various roles. I hope you'll look for her and appreciate her contribution to various motion pictures and television shows.

The Awful TruthHaven't you seen The Awful Truth (1937)? This is a very famous Cary Grant and Irene Dunne film. If you haven't seen it, you should. Look for Esther Dale playing Mrs. Leeson.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

The Egg and I (1947) This is the film that introduced to movie going audiences to the likes of Ma and Pa Kettle. Esther Dale is seen here first as her character in this of films as Birdie Hicks. She and Ma don't get on so well.
Holiday Affair (1949) This is a lovely Christmas classic starring Janet Leigh, Wendell Corey, and Robert Mitchum. Here Esther Dale plays Mrs. Ennis, the domineering ex-mother-in-law, but still grandmother to the main character's son.
Monkey Business AKA: Be Your Age (1952) This is a delightful film starring Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers. Esther Dale has a small part as Mrs. Rhinelander.
On Moonlight Bay (1951) This film stars Doris Day and Gordon MacRae. Esther Dale plays the main character Marjorie Winfield's Aunt Martha.

*Contributed by: "Elizabeth Van Cleve Randolph" Date: Tues, Mar 11, 2008 / 10:31:25 PST