Elizabeth Patterson

Elizabeth Patterson


Also Known As
Mary Elizabeth Patterson
Birth Place
Savannah, Tennessee, USA
November 22, 1874
January 31, 1966


Often playing waspish or sweet old ladies, Elizabeth Patterson forever earned a place in TV history as Mrs. Trumbull, the neighbor who was Little Ricky's babysitter, on the perennial favorite "I Love Lucy." Although that may remain her best-known part, the actress had begun her career at the turn of the 20th Century on stage and arrived in Hollywood in 1926, appearing in silent films lik...


Often playing waspish or sweet old ladies, Elizabeth Patterson forever earned a place in TV history as Mrs. Trumbull, the neighbor who was Little Ricky's babysitter, on the perennial favorite "I Love Lucy." Although that may remain her best-known part, the actress had begun her career at the turn of the 20th Century on stage and arrived in Hollywood in 1926, appearing in silent films like "The Boy Friend" and "The Return of Peter Grimm." Patterson went on to play the high-pitched Aunt Blanche to John Barrymore's amateur sleuth in several "Bulldog Drummond" programmers in the 1930s. She was well cast as the mother trying to hold her family together in the 1941 feature adaptation of "Tobacco Road" (1941). In all, Patterson appeared in more than 90 films ending her career at age 85 in 1960's "Tall Story."



Cast (Feature Film)

Tall Story (1960)
The Oregon Trail (1959)
Maria Cooper
Pal Joey (1957)
Mrs. Casey
Las Vegas Shakedown (1955)
Mary Raff
Washington Story (1952)
Miss Dee
Katie Did It (1951)
Aunt Priscilla [Wakely]
Bright Leaf (1950)
Tabitha Jackson
Intruder in the Dust (1950)
Miss [Eunice] Habersham
Little Women (1949)
Song of Surrender (1949)
Mrs. Beecham
Miss Tatlock's Millions (1948)
Welcome Stranger (1947)
Mrs. Gilley
Out of the Blue (1947)
Miss Spring
The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947)
Catherine Dennison
The Secret Heart (1946)
Mrs. Stover
I've Always Loved You (1946)
Mrs. Sampter
Colonel Effingham's Raid (1946)
Lady on a Train (1945)
Aunt Charlotte
Follow the Boys (1944)
Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)
Libby's aunt
Together Again (1944)
The Sky's the Limit (1943)
Mrs. Fisher
My Sister Eileen (1942)
Grandma Sherwood
The Vanishing Virginian (1942)
Beyond the Blue Horizon (1942)
Mrs. Daly
I Married a Witch (1942)
Lucky Legs (1942)
Annabelle Dinwiddie
Almost Married (1942)
Aunt Matilda
Her Cardboard Lover (1942)
Kiss the Boys Goodbye (1941)
Aunt Lily Lou
Belle Starr (1941)
Michael Shayne, Private Detective (1941)
Aunt Olivia
Tobacco Road (1941)
Ada Lester
Anne of Windy Poplars (1940)
Earthbound (1940)
Becky Tilden
Adventure in Diamonds (1940)
Who Killed Aunt Maggie? (1940)
Maggie Ambler
Remember the Night (1940)
Aunt Emma
Bulldog Drummond's Secret Police (1939)
Aunt Blanche
The Cat and the Canary (1939)
Aunt Susan
Bulldog Drummond's Bride (1939)
Aunt Blanche
Our Leading Citizen (1939)
Aunt Tillie [Clark]
Bad Little Angel (1939)
Mrs. Perkins
The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939)
Mrs. Mac Gregor
Bulldog Drummond's Peril (1938)
Aunt Blanche
Scandal Street (1938)
Ada Smith
Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938)
Aunt Hedwige
Sons of the Legion (1938)
Grandmother Lee
Sing You Sinners (1938)
Mrs. Beebe
Night Club Scandal (1937)
Mrs. Elvira Wardrobe
Night of Mystery (1937)
Mrs. Tobias Greene
High, Wide and Handsome (1937)
Grandma Cortlandt
Hold 'Em Navy! (1937)
Grandma Stackpole
Go West Young Man (1936)
Aunt Kate [Barnaby]
Small Town Girl (1936)
Ma Brannan
Timothy's Quest (1936)
Vilda Cummings
Three Cheers for Love (1936)
Wilma Chester
Old Hutch (1936)
Mrs. Hutchins
Her Master's Voice (1936)
Mrs. [Ellie] Martin
The Return of Sophie Lang (1936)
Araminta Sedley
So Red the Rose (1935)
Mary Cherry
Men Without Names (1935)
Aunt Ella
Chasing Yesterday (1935)
Mlle. Prefere
Hide-Out (1934)
Ma Miller
Dinner at Eight (1934)
Miss Copeland
Secret of the Blue Room (1933)
Doctor Bull (1933)
Aunt Patricia
The Story of Temple Drake (1933)
Aunt Jennie
They Just Had to Get Married (1933)
Aunt Lizzie
Ever in My Heart (1933)
Hold Your Man (1933)
Miss Tuttle
Golden Harvest (1933)
Infernal Machine (1933)
Elinor's aunt
New Morals for Old (1932)
Aunty Doe
They Call It Sin (1932)
Mrs. Cullen
A Bill of Divorcement (1932)
[Aunt] Hester [Fairfield]
Guilty As Hell (1932)
Mrs. Wardrobe
The Expert (1932)
Miss Crackenwald
Love Me Tonight (1932)
First aunt
Man Wanted (1932)
No Man of Her Own (1932)
Mrs. Randall
Miss Pinkerton (1932)
Aunt Julia Mitchell
Breach of Promise (1932)
Cora Pugmire
Life Begins (1932)
Mrs. Tubby
Play Girl (1932)
19-cent woman
So Big (1932)
Mrs. Tibbits
The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)
Baroness Von Schwedel
Husband's Holiday (1931)
Mrs. Caroline Reid
Daddy Long Legs (1931)
Mrs. Lippett
Tarnished Lady (1931)
Mrs. Courtney
Heaven on Earth (1931)
The Cat Creeps (1930)
The Big Party (1930)
Mrs. Goldfarb
Harmony at Home (1930)
Emma Haller
The Lone Star Ranger (1930)
Sarah Martin
South Sea Rose (1929)
Words and Music (1929)
Dean Crockett
The Boy Friend (1926)
Mrs. Harper
The Return of Peter Grimm (1926)
Mrs. Bartholomey

Life Events


Was actively appearing in silent films


Appeared in "Bulldog Drummond" film series


Had starring role in feature film version of "Tobacco Road"


Played Kathryn March in CBS version of "Little Women"


Made final feature film, "Tall Story"

Photo Collections

Remember the Night - Scene Stills
Here are a few Scene Stills from Paramount's Remember the Night (1940), starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray.


Movie Clip

High, Wide And Handsome (1937) -- (Movie Clip) She's Been Kissed Before At the town dance in Titusville, PA, 1859, infatuated Peter (Randolph Scott) with visiting medicine-show performer Sally (Irene Dunne) as his Grandma (Elizabeth Patterson) jousts with stuffy Stark (Irving Pichel) and a scuff-up with Scanlon (Charles Bickford) ensues, in High, Wide And Handsome, 1937.
High, Wide And Handsome (1937) -- (Movie Clip) The Morning's Half Over Arising on the Titusville, PA farm where she and her father (Raymond Walburn, with sidekick William Frawley) have been received as guests the day after their medicine-show wagon burned, Irene Dunne as Sally has a mixed exchange with hostess Grandma (Elizabeth Patterson), in Paramount’s High, Wide And Handsome, 1937, also starring Randolph Scott.
Bright Leaf (1950) -- (Movie Clip) You Can Let Go Now Aspiring cigarette entrepeneur Royle (Gary Cooper) returning to his North Carolina hometown circa 1894, catching the eye of Sonia (Lauren Bacall) then insulting Margaret (Patricia Neal) and her aunt (Elizabeth Patterson), in Bright Leaf, 1950, directed by Michael Curtiz.
No Man Of Her Own (1932) -- (Movie Clip) My Usual Life Of Sin Clark Gable as Manhattan gambler Stewart needs to get outa town, choosing Glendale where Connie (Carole Lombard, the future Mrs. Gable, in their only picture together), resides, and life is not all sweet, Elizabeth Patterson her mom, early in No Man Of Her Own, 1932
Hail The Conquering Hero (1944) -- (Movie Clip) He Could Be President Woodrow (Eddie Bracken), overwhelmed and intending to confess that he never served in the Marine Corps, can’t stop the judge (Jimmy Conlin) and Doc Bissell (Harry Hayden), who have nominated him for mayor on his homecoming, in Preston Sturges’ Hail The Conquering Hero, 1944.
Hail The Conquering Hero (1944) -- (Movie Clip) A Single Sour Note Franklin Pangborn (the band leader), the mother (Georgia Caine) and ex-sweetheart Libby (Ella Raines) among the revelers awaiting the local war hero, unaware that he hasn't told them he was forced to accept a medical discharge and never served, early in Preston Sturges' Hail The Conquering Hero, 1944.
Hail The Conquering Hero (1944) -- (Movie Clip) He's Got Jungle Fever Craziness at the homecoming for Woodrow (Eddie Bracken), pressed by Sarge (William Demarest), who served with his father, not to tell his mother (Georgia Caine) he was rejected by the Marines, Torben Meyer the neighbor, Ella Raines his ex-girl, who hasn't told him she's engaged, in Preston Sturges' Hail The Conquering Hero, 1944.
Sing You Sinners (1938) -- (Movie Clip) It's Not Macaroni Exposition in the Beebe household, Fred MacMurray as eldest brother Dave, Elizabeth Patterson as mom, Donald O’Connor as little Mike and Bing Crosby as the less-reliable younger brother Joe, though he was several years older than MacMurray, early in Paramount’s Sing You Sinners, 1938.
Story Of Alexander Graham Bell, The (1939) -- (Movie Clip) The Nature Of Sound In a Boston boarding house, 1873, we meet Don Ameche as the title character, a teacher of deaf children, Elizabeth Patterson the hostess, offering a demo then receiving Sanders (Gene Lockhart), a parent, and an investor (Charles Coburn), in The Story Of Alexander Graham Bell, 1939.
Cat And The Canary, The (1939) -- (Movie Clip) There Are Spirits All Around You Bob Hope as Wally joins fellow potential heirs at the spooky Louisiana mansion, George Zucco the lawyer, Gale Sondergaard the housekeeper, with Elizabeth Patterson, Nydia Westman, Douglass Montgomery and John Beal, then Paulette Goddard's entrance, in the horror-comedy The Cat And The Canary, 1939.
Cat And The Canary, The (1939) -- (Movie Clip) Is He A Dangerous Maniac? After the reading of their ancestor's will in his bayou home, Bob Hope as Wally, with Nydia Westman, George Zucco the lawyer, John Beal, Elizabeth Patterson, Paulette Goddard who got the money, Douglass Montgomery and John Wray, the guard bringing scary news, in the horror spoof The Cat And The Canary, 1939.
They Call It Sin (1932) -- (Movie Clip) I Don't Belong To You Rapid events as traveling New Yorker Jimmy (David Manners) surprises lovesick Marion (Loretta Young) in her Kansas town on his way home, leading to a big reveal in conversation with her parents (Elizabeth Patterson, Erville Anderson), in the pre-Code They Call It Sin, 1932.


Pal Joey - (Original Trailer) Get a lesson in "Joey's Jargon" from Frank Sinatra himself, on the set of Pal Joey (1957).
Remember the Night -- (Original Trailer) Assistant D.A. Fred MacMurray takes shoplifter Barbara Stanwyck home for Christmas in Remember the Night (1940).
Man Wanted - (Original Trailer) A female executive (Kay Francis) falls in love with her male secretary (David Manners) in Man Wanted (1932).
Expert, The - (Original Trailer) An elderly man (Chic Sale) complicates his married son's life when he moves in in The Expert (1932).
Miss Pinkerton - (Original Trailer) A private duty nurse (Joan Blondell) gets herself mixed up in a murder investigation in Miss Pinkerton (1932).
Ever In My Heart - (Original Trailer) During World War I, a woman (Barbara Stanwyck) suspects her husband of being a German spy in Ever In My Heart (1933).
Vanishing Virginian, The - (Original Trailer) A conservative southern patriarch tries to cope with changing times in Frank Borzage's The Vanishing Virginian (1942).
Sky's The Limit, The - (Original Trailer) A pilot on leave (Fred Astaire) falls for a pretty news photographer in the musical The Sky's The Limit (1943).
Little Women (1949) - (Original Trailer) June Allyson is Jo and Elizabeth Taylor, Amy, seen here in the original theatrical trailer for the first color version of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, 1949, delivered by co-stars Peter Lawford and Janet Leigh.
Her Cardboard Lover - (Original Trailer) In Norma Shearer's final movie, she plays a flirt who tries to make her fiance jealous by hiring a gigolo in George Cukor's Her Cardboard Lover (1942).
Welcome Stranger - (Original Trailer) Going My Way stars Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald reunite as small town doctors in Welcome Stranger (1947).
Life Begins -- (Original Trailer) A maternity ward becomes the focus for the patients', doctors' and nurses' personal problems. A pre-code drama starring Loretta Young.