Eileen Ryan (born Eileen Annucci) is an American stage, film, and television actress. She is the widow of actor and director Leo Penn, and the mother of actors Sean Penn and Chris Penn and singer Michael Penn.

Eileen Ryan
Howard Duff Eileen Ryan Twilight Zone.JPG
Eileen Annucci

Years active1955–present
Leo Penn
(m. 1957; died 1998)
ChildrenMichael Penn
Sean Penn
Chris Penn
RelativesDylan Penn (granddaughter)

Life and careerEdit

Ryan was born in New York City, the daughter of Rose Isabel (née Ryan), a nurse, and Amerigo Giuseppe Annucci, a dentist.[1] Ryan's mother was an Irish American native of Plattsburgh, New York, and her father was Italian American.[1] In 1957 she married Leo Penn, an actor and active union member, who was blacklisted from the late 1940s to the late 1950s.[2][3] The couple remained together for over 40 years, until Leo's death in 1998.[2]

Ryan appears with her sons Sean and Chris in the 1986 film At Close Range, portraying the brothers' grandmother.[4] She also makes an appearance in The Crossing Guard, which Sean directed. On Broadway, Ryan portrayed Evie in Sing Till Tomorrow (1953) and Lorraine in Comes a Day (1958).[5]



Year Title Role Notes
1957 Three in One Mrs. Johnson Segment: "The Load of Wood"
1986 At Close Range Grandma
1988 Judgment in Berlin Gerta X
1989 Winter People Annie Wright
1989 Parenthood Marilyn Buckman
1991 The Indian Runner Mrs. Baker
1993 Benny & Joon Mrs. Smail
1995 The Crossing Guard Woman in Shop
1999 Anywhere but Here Lillian
1999 Magnolia Mary
2001 The Pledge Jean
2001 I Am Sam Estelle
2002 Eight Legged Freaks Gladys
2004 The Assassination of Richard Nixon Marie's mother
2005 Ulli Lommel's Zodiac Killer Venice Beach victim Video
2005 Feast Grandma
2006 All the King's Men Lily Littlepaugh
2009 Give 'Em Hell, Malone Gloria
2009 Mother and Child Nora
2010 Venus & Vegas Estelle
2011 Collaborator Betty
2016 Rules Don't Apply Frank's Grandmother


Year Title Role Notes
1955 Goodyear Television Playhouse Alma "Mr. Dorothy Allen"
1957 Westinghouse Studio One Betsy Fuller "The Defender: Parts 1 & 2"
1959 Deadline Betty "Massacre"
1959 DuPont Show of the Month "The Human Comedy"
1959 Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond Mrs. Horvath "Make Me Not a Witch"
1960 The Twilight Zone Nora Reagan "A World of Difference"
1960 The Robert Herridge Theatre "With Glory and Honor"
1960 The Detectives Mrs. Sharman "Little Girl Lost"
1961 The Detectives Mrs. Coil "Song of the Guilty Heart"
1961 Shotgun Slade Janet Milford "A Grave at San Gallo"
1961 The DuPont Show with June Allyson Miss Spencer "The Man Who Wanted Everything Perfect"
1961 The Asphalt Jungle Anna Ashmond "The Last Way Out"
1961 Outlaws Ruth Lopez "No Luck on Friday"
1961 Adventures in Paradise Alice "Survival"
1961 Bonanza Amanda Gates "Land Grab"
1962 Bonanza Abigail Jones "The Wooing of Abigail Jones"
1962 Ben Casey Laura Walton "Give My Hands an Epitaph"
1962 Tales of Wells Fargo Lorry "End of a Minor God"
1972 Bonanza Emily "First Love"
1973 Marcus Welby, M.D. Shirley Cooper "Catch a Ring That Isn't There"
1973 Cannon "Press Pass to the Slammer"
1974 Little House on the Prairie Mrs. Kennedy "The Voice of Tinker Jones"
1986 CBS Schoolbreak Special Bag Lady "Babies Having Babies"
1990 Christine Cromwell "Only the Good Die Young"
1992 Matlock Lily Wyckoff "The Picture: Part 2"
1993 It's Nothing Personal TV film
1996 ER Barbara Dean "True Lies"
1996 NYPD Blue Mrs. Treet "He's Not Guilty, He's My Brother"
1999 Ally McBeal Bria Tolson "In Dreams"
2000 Arliss Maddie Crowley "Last Call"
2001 Providence Eleanor Walters "Big Night"
2001 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Mrs. Rose Bennett "To Halve and to Hold"
2003 The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire "Tough Love"
2005 Without a Trace Maura O'Connell "Transitions"
2007 The Nine Mrs. Cavanaugh "Legacy"
2011 Men of a Certain Age "And Then the Bill Comes"
2011 Private Practice Marion "Something Old, Something New"
2011 Prime Suspect Susan Whitney "Bitch"
2014 Grey's Anatomy Marjorie Reed "Puzzle with a Piece Missing"
2014 Getting On Mrs. Roth "No Such Thing as Idealized Genitalia"


  1. ^ a b Kelly, Richard T. Sean Penn: His Life and Times. Canongate U.S. 2004. ISBN 1-84195-623-6.
  2. ^ a b Oliver, Myrna (1998) for the Los Angeles Times. "LEO PENN, 77, ACTOR AND NOTABLE DIRECTOR", obituary, archives of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (Deerfield Beach, Florida), September 12, 1998. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  3. ^ Stange, Ellen Silver (2016). New York State of Fame. Page Publishing Inc. ISBN 9781682890264. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  4. ^ Mills, Nancy (July 5, 1986). "Never-Retiring Eileen Ryan Is out of Retirement". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. p. Part IV - 9. Retrieved April 8, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.  
  5. ^ "Eileen Ryan". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 9 April 2018. Retrieved 9 April 2018.

External linksEdit