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'Dennis The Menace' Star Dead at 98

'Dennis The Menace' Star Dead at 98
Four of television's favorite moms gather for a tribute at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, May 10, 1991. From left to right are: Barbara Billingsley, "Leave it to Beaver," Gloria Henry, "Dennis the Menace," Jane Wyatt, "Father Knows Best," and Marion Ross, "Happy Days." (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

By    |   Monday, 05 April 2021 12:20 PM

Gloria Henry, best known for her role in the 1960's CBS comedy "Dennis the Menace," has died. She was 98. 

The actress died on Saturday, just one day after her birthday, at her home in Los Angeles, her daughter Erin confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. She also announced the news on social media.

"She’s flying now, free of her body. She left on a countdown 4 3 2 1 @ 3:40pm," Erin captioned a photo of Henry standing in front of a mural depicting angel wings. "She was such an incredible woman in so many ways. 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."

Born in New Orleans on April 2, 1923, Henry worked in radio and appeared in various commercials before she was snapped up by Columbia Pictures. She made her film debut in 1947 when she was cast as the female lead in "Sport of Kings." 

From there Henry went on to appear in dozens of other B-grade films, including "Port Said" (1948), "Silverado (1948)," "Air Hostess (1949)" and "Rusty Saves a Life" (1949) before landing a role next to Lucille Ball and William Holden in "Miss Grant Takes Richmond," according to IMDB. She also appeared alongside George Raft and Nina Foch in "Johnny Allegro" (1949) and with Arthur Kennedy and Marlene Dietrich in "Rancho Notorious" (1952).

Looking back at those early years, Henry recalled to NJ.com how different filming was.

"In those days, television was a one-camera thing. You had one day of reading over the script in the morning, and then the afternoon was sort of spotting where you would be standing, where the camera would be, for most of it," she said. "Then you shot for three days straight. If there was anything left over to do, they would combine that on Friday with any commercials. We were doing commercials for Kellogg's at that time."

In 1959 Henry landed her most notable role as the loving mother of the chaos-causing kid Dennis in "Dennis the Menace." Henry told NJ.com that the show’s fans reactions to her character were amusing. 

"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,'" she said. "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."

Henry is survived by her three children, daughter Erin and sons Jeffrey and Adam, whom she shared with her late ex-husband Craig Ellwood.

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Gloria Henry, best known for her role in the 1960's CBS comedy "Dennis the Menace," has died. She was 98...
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Monday, 05 April 2021 12:20 PM
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