Frances Evelyn Bay (née Goffman; January 23, 1919 – September 15, 2011) was a Canadian-American character actress. In a career that spanned 35 years, she acted in a variety of roles both in film and television. Bay was inducted in Canada's Walk of Fame in 2008.
Frances Bay in 1999
Frances Evelyn Goffman
January 23, 1919
|Died||September 15, 2011 (aged 92)|
Tarzana, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery|
|Employer||Canadian Broadcasting Corporation|
(m. 1946; died 2002)
Frances Evelyn Goffman was born January 23, 1919 in Mannville, Alberta, to Ukrainian Jewish immigrant parents, Ann (née Averbach) and Max Goffman, and was raised in Dauphin, Manitoba. Her younger brother was the noted sociologist Erving Goffman. Before World War II she acted professionally in Winnipeg and spent the war hosting the Canadian Broadcasting Company's radio show, Everybody's Program, aimed at service members overseas.
She married Charles Irwin Bay (December 15, 1918 – June 18, 2002) in 1946, and moved to Cape Town, South Africa, living in the Constantia and Camps Bay areas. She studied with Uta Hagen at this time. Charles and Frances Bay had one son, Josh (Eli Joshua; March 14, 1947 – June 6, 1970), who died at the age of 23.
Bay started her career in the 1930s as a radio actress.
Bay returned to acting in the 1970s, appearing in television and film roles until 1976 while in her mid-50s, beginning with a small part in Foul Play, a 1978 comedy starring Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase. A year earlier, she appeared as Mrs. Hamilton in the Christmas television special Christmastime with Mister Rogers. In 1990, she appeared in the episode, "When I'm 64", in the TV series ALF as the faded movie star, Louise Beaumont, residing in a retirement home.
Bay's first major television appearance occurred playing the grandmother to the character of Fonzie on Happy Days. She described Henry Winkler, who played Fonzie, as "just a sweet guy. He lost his own grandmother in the Holocaust, and he wrote me a letter saying I was his virtual grandmother".
In 1983, she played the grandmother in Little Red Riding Hood in Faerie Tale Theatre for Showtime. She appeared in the final episodes of two long-running sitcom series: Happy Days, and Who's the Boss? Bay played Cousin Winifred in the fourth to last episode of Road to Avonlea, a role for which she won a Gemini Award. Bay's feature film work includes small roles in films like The Karate Kid (1984), Movers & Shakers (1985), Big Top Pee-wee (1988), Twins (1988), The Grifters (1990), The Pit and the Pendulum (1991).
In 1986, Bay appeared as the doddery aunt of Kyle MacLachlan's character in David Lynch's Blue Velvet. Lynch cast her in several subsequent works, including as a foul-mouthed madam in Wild at Heart, and as Mrs. Tremond on Twin Peaks and its feature film prequel, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.
In 1994, she played Mrs. Pickman in John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness. In 1996, she played Adam Sandler's grandmother in the feature film Happy Gilmore. In 1999, she played Thelma, the head security guard at the Bradford robotics laboratory in the film Inspector Gadget. Bay's other roles included a supporting role in "The Rye", a notable 1996 episode of Seinfeld in which she played a woman who got into a physical altercation with Jerry over a loaf of marble rye bread.
Bay appeared in the 2002 music video for Jimmy Fallon's comedy song, "Idiot Boyfriend". In 2005 she reunited with her The Pit and the Pendulum director Stuart Gordon to play a fortune teller in Edmond. From 2009-11, Bay had a recurring role as "Aunt Ginny" on the television series The Middle. Her character was subsequently written out of the show after her death in September 2011, and the death was addressed in the episode "The Map". She also worked in theatre, winning both the Drama-Logue Award and Gemini Award.
Bay was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame on September 6, 2008, in large part thanks to a petition with 10,000 names which was submitted on her behalf. The selection committee also received personal letters from Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, David Lynch, Henry Winkler, Monty Hall and other celebrities.
Personal life and deathEdit
|1978||Foul Play||Mrs. Russel|
|1979||Chilly Scenes of Winter||Mrs. Delillo|
|1981||Honky Tonk Freeway||Mrs. Lewenowski|
|1983||Private School||Birdie Fallmouth|
|1984||The Karate Kid||Mrs. Milo|
|1985||Movers & Shakers||Betty Gritz|
|1986||Blue Velvet||Aunt Barbara|
|1988||Big Top Pee-wee||Mrs. Haynes|
|1989||The Karate Kid Part III||Mrs. Milo|
|1991||The Pit and the Pendulum||Esmeralda|
|1991||Critters 3||Mrs. Menges|
|1992||Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me||Mrs. Tremond / Mrs. Chalfont|
|1993||The Neighbor||Aunt Sylvia|
|1994||The Paperboy||Mrs. Rosemont|
|1994||In the Mouth of Madness||Mrs. Pickman|
|1996||Happy Gilmore||Grandma Gilmore|
|1996||Never Too Late||Elisabeth Kronner|
|1997||Mitzi & Joe||Mitzi|
|1998||Krippendorf's Tribe||Edith Proxmire|
|2000||The Operator||Mrs. Sloan|
|2000||Stranger Than Fiction||Mrs. Steiner|
|2000||A Day in the Life||Rosa|
|2001||The Wedding Planner||Dottie|
|2001||Finder's Fee||Mrs. Damsetter|
|2002||Kiss the Bride||Grandma Julia|
|2004||In the Land of Milk and Money||Grandma Shallot|
|2009||Repo Chick||Grandma De La Chasse|
|2010||Pickin' & Grinnin||Grandma Johnson|
|2010||Bare Knuckles||Rosie Mcintyre|
|1977||CHiPs||Ruth||Episode: "Name Your Price"|
|1979||ABC Weekend Special||Madame Zarona||Episode: "The Big Hex of Little Lulu"|
|1979||Topper||Mrs. Quincy||TV film|
|1981||The Jeffersons||Mrs. Watson||Episode: "My Hero"|
|1981||The Dukes of Hazzard||Aunt Hortense||Episode: "The Return of Hughie Hogg"|
|1981||Murder in Texas||Myra Hill||TV film|
|1981||Callie & Son||Mabel Simpson||TV film|
|1982||Father Murphy||Alma Hubbard||Episode: "88 Keys to Happiness"|
|1982, 1984||Happy Days||Grandma Nussbaum||Episodes: "Grandma Nussbaum", "Going Steady", "Passages: Part 2"|
|1983||American Playhouse||Mrs. Timmins||Episode: "Wings"|
|1983||Faerie Tale Theatre||Granny||Episode: "Little Red Riding Hood"|
|1983||Remington Steele||Mother Trust||Episode: "Scene Steelers"|
|1984||Alice||Granny Annie||Episode: "Mel Spins His Wheels"|
|1984||Family Ties||Florence Menlo||Episode: "Keaton and Son"|
|1984||E/R||Mrs. Gordon||Episode: "A Cold Night in Chicago"|
|1984||The President of Love||Herbina Plum||TV film|
|1985||Cagney & Lacey||Edna Kiss||Episode: "Violation"|
|1985||Fame||Grandma George||Episode: "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?"|
|1985||Amazing Stories||Mrs. Santa Claus||Episode: "Santa '85"|
|1985, 1990||Santa Barbara||Mrs. McRae, Sister Gabriella||Episodes: "1.357", "1.359", "1.1405"|
|1986||Cheers||Mrs. Brubaker||Episode: "Take My Shirt... Please?"|
|1986||T. J. Hooker||Mrs. Greene||Episode: "Taps for Officer Remy"|
|1986||Hill Street Blues||Elizabeth Mies||Episode: "Larry of Arabia"|
|1986||Easy Street||Mrs. Walker||Episode: "Pride Goeth Before a Cheap Hotel"|
|1986||Simon & Simon||Agnes Rich||Episode: "The Case of Don Diablo"|
|1986||Sidekicks||Sarah||Episode: "Grey Belts"|
|1987||LBJ: The Early Years||Effie Pattilo||TV film|
|1987||Convicted: A Mother's Story||Ma Barker||TV film|
|1987||St. Elsewhere||Mrs. Renninger||Episode: "Ewe Can't Go Home Again"|
|1987||The Oldest Rookie||Mrs. Zimmer||Episode: "Ike and Son"|
|1988||The Golden Girls||Claire||Episode: "The Days and Nights of Sophia Petrillo"|
|1988||Police Story: Monster Manor||Mary||TV film|
|1988, 1991||Hunter||Emma Parsons, Mrs. Laskey||Episodes: "The Bogota Million", "Fatal Obsession: Parts 1 & 2"|
|1989||The Cavanaughs||Widow Kelsey||Episode: "The Cavanaugh Curse"|
|1989||Newhart||Mrs. Henderson||Episode: "Don't Worry Be Pregnant"|
|1989||Dragnet||Sadie McGuire||Episode: "Where's Sadie?"|
|1989||Generations||Emily Fober||Episodes: "1.175", "1.176", "1.178"|
|1990||Alien Nation||Mrs. Gillirue||Episode: "Spirit of '95"|
|1990||ALF||Louise Beaumont||Episode: "When I'm 64"|
|1990||Equal Justice||Florence Evans||Episode: "Sugar Blues"|
|1990||Twin Peaks||Mrs. Tremond||Episode: "Coma"|
|1990||Over My Dead Body||Sister Dempsey||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1990||True Colors||Aunt Sylvia||Episode: "Occasional Wife"|
|1991||Pacific Station||Celia Linder||Episode: "A Man's Best Friend"|
|1991||Matlock||Samantha Bergstrom, Rose Hayes||Episodes: "The Trial: Part 2", "The Defense"|
|1991–1992||Life Goes On||Eleanor, Sarah||Episodes: "Arthur", "Love Letters"|
|1992||Grave Secrets: The Legacy of Hilltop Drive||Iva Ruth McKinney||TV film|
|1992||Quantum Leap||Millie Reynolds||Episode: "Moments to Live"|
|1992||Who's the Boss?||Candy||Episodes: "Savor the Veal: Parts 2 & 3"|
|1992||L.A. Law||Marian McConnell||Episode: "Silence of the Lambskins"|
|1992||Down the Shore||Miss Suzette||Episode: "My Left Feet"|
|1992–1993||By Way of the Stars||Annie Pyle||TV miniseries|
|1992–1993||Empty Nest||Sylvia, Agnes||Episodes: "Charley for President", "The Fracas in Vegas"|
|1993||Street Legal||Patricia Peters||Episode: "Pride and Prejudice"|
|1994||Phenom||Mrs. Long||Episode: "What's in a Vow?"|
|1994||Dave's World||Daisy||Episode: "Lost Weekend"|
|1994||The 5 Mrs. Buchanans||Aunt Francine||Episode: "Alex, Then and N.O.W."|
|1994||The X-Files||Dorothy||Episode: "Excelsis Dei"|
|1995||Platypus Man||Bella||Episode: "Sweet Denial"|
|1995||The Commish||Ardith Cannon||Episode: "Off Broadway: Part 2"|
|1995||The Ben Stiller Show||Gertude||Episode: "ZooTV at Night"|
|1995||The Crew||Mrs. Henderson||Episode: "The Sugar Shack"|
|1995||Murder, She Wrote||Sarah McCoy||Episode: "Home Care"|
|1995||Courthouse||Kate Downey||Episode: "Injustice for All"|
|1996||Road to Avonlea||Winifred Ward||Episode: "After the Ball Is Over"|
|1996||Rossini's Ghost||Rosalie (elder)||TV film|
|1996, 1998||Seinfeld||Mabel, Mrs. Choate||Episodes: "The Rye", "The Cadillac", "The Finale"|
|1997||Suddenly Susan||Mrs. Tidgely||Episode: "What a Card"|
|1997||Life with Roger||Aunt Charlotte||Episode: "The Boxer Rebellion"|
|1997||Players||Mrs. Davis||Episode: "Three of a Con"|
|1998||C-16: FBI||Miss Wilson||Episode: "The Art of War"|
|1998||Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction||Mildred Grayson||Episode: "The Gift"|
|1998||Style & Substance||Elizabeth||Episode: "Chelsea's Ex"|
|1998||Forever Love||Martha Craddock||TV film|
|1998–2000||The Hughleys||Mrs. Fitch||Recurring role (seasons 1–2)|
|1999||The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn||Mrs. Lewis||TV film|
|1999||Da Vinci's Inquest||Viola McKnight||Episode: "A Nice Home in the Country"|
|2000||Port Charles||Leah Cochrane||Guest role|
|2001||ER||Georgia||Episode: "Witch Hunt"|
|2001||Bob Patterson||Laurie Evans||Episode: "Awards Bob"|
|2001||Bratty Babies||Maggie Winchester||TV film|
|2002||Charmed||Phoebe Halliwell (old)||Episode: "The Three Faces of Phoebe"|
|2002||Presidio Med||Joan Hart||Episode: "This Baby's Gonna Fly"|
|2006||Hannah Montana||Cathy||Episode: "Debt It Be"|
|2007||Cavemen||Mrs. Winston||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2009||Grey's Anatomy||Aunt Joyce||Episode: "Elevator Love Letter"|
|2009–2011||The Middle||Ginny Freehold||Recurring role (seasons 1–2)|
- Cavan, Sherri (July 2011). "When Erving Goffman was a Boy". University of Nevada, Las Vegas. p. 4.
- Noland, Claire (September 16, 2011). "Character actress Frances Bay dies at 92". Los Angeles Times.
- Michael Posner, "Seinfeld's marble rye lady honoured", Toronto Globe and Mail, September 6, 2008, pg. R4
- Zakarin, Jordan (September 18, 2011). "Frances Bay Dead: 'Happy Gilmore', 'Seinfeld' Actress Passes Away At 92". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
- Frances Bay on IMDb
- Oliver, Myrna (September 17, 2011). "Frances Bay dies at 92; veteran character actress", Los Angeles Times; accessed June 27, 2017.
- Maslin Nir, Sarah (September 18, 2011). "Frances Bay, Actress Known for ‘Old Lady’ Roles, Dies at 92". The New York Times.
- "Canada's Walk of Fame Inducts Frances Bay". Canada's Walk of Fame. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
- "Steve Nash, kd lang among new Walk of Fame inductees". CTV News. June 3, 2008. Archived from the original on June 4, 2008. Retrieved April 5, 2016.