Mary Jackson (actress)

Mary Jackson (November 22, 1910 – December 10, 2005) was an American character actress whose nearly fifty-year career began in 1950 and was spent almost entirely in television. She is best known for the role of the lovelorn Emily Baldwin in The Waltons and was the original choice to play Alice Horton in the daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives, playing the part in the unaired pilot. The role was instead given to Frances Reid.[1][better source needed]

Mary Jackson
Mary Jackson in Hazel 1961.jpg
Mary Jackson in Hazel 1961
Born(1910-11-22)November 22, 1910
DiedDecember 10, 2005(2005-12-10) (aged 95)
Alma materWestern Michigan University


Jackson was born in the village of Milford, Michigan on November 22, 1910.[2][3] She graduated from Western Michigan University with a bachelor's degree 1932.[4] She worked for one year as a schoolteacher during the Great Depression before pursuing her interest in theatre.[5]

She returned to college, enrolling in Michigan State University's fine arts program and subsequently beginning her performing career in summer stock theatre in Chicago. She embarked on a television career in New York City in the 1950s, during the first Golden Age of Television, before beginning work in Hollywood in the 1960s.[6]

Jackson appeared on Broadway in such hits as “Kiss and Tell” and “Eastward in Eden,” was standby for Wendy Hiller in “Flowering Cherry” on Broadway, playing the role twice. She toured nationally in “Apple of His Eye” with Edward Arnold, and in “The Heiress” with Basil Rathbone. Jackson was a member of the Chicago company of Tennessee Williams' “Garden District” and also toured with the play; was featured with Shirley Booth in Chicago in “The Desk Set.” (Jackson would later be a guest star on Booth's TV show, Hazel.) Her many stock engagements included the Ann Arbor Spring Festival, Bucks County Playhouse, Ogunquit Playhouse, Alley Theatre in Houston. For the 1962 and 1963 Summer stock seasons she performed at the Elitch Theatre.[7]

Always close to her Michigan roots, Jackson was a charter member of the Milford Historical Society. In 1988, Jackson was instrumental in raising money to rebuild the Oak Grove Cemetery Bridge over the Huron River - a bridge that connects her hometown of Milford to its oldest burial grounds.[8] Jackson was buried there[citation needed] following her death from Parkinson's disease in Los Angeles, two-and-a-half weeks after her 95th birthday. She was survived by her husband of 68 years, Griffin Bancroft Jr., to whom she was married from July 4, 1937.[9]

Select filmographyEdit






  • Parenthood (1990–1991, TV Series) as Great Grandma Greenwell
  • Skinned Alive (1990) as Crawldaddy
  • The Exorcist III (1990) as Mrs. Clelia
  • Criminal Behavior (1992, TV Movie) as Mrs. Cline
  • Leap of Faith (1992) as Emma Schlarp
  • A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion (1993, TV Movie) as Emily Baldwin
  • Christy (1994, TV Series) as Aunt Polly Teague
  • A Walton Wedding (1995, TV Movie) as Emily Baldwin
  • Ozone (1995) as Cleaning Lady
  • A Family Thing (1996) as Carrie
  • A Walton Easter (1997) as Emily Baldwin (final film role)


  1. ^ "Waltons Actress Dies at 95",, 20 December 2005.
  2. ^ Rossiter, Joe. "Mary Jackson: 'Waltons' Actress Kept Milford Close"[permanent dead link], Detroit Free Press, December 14, 2005, page B5.
  3. ^ Donaldson, Stan. "Actress Wills Pair of Old Homes to Her Hometown"[permanent dead link], Detroit Free Press, October 2, 2006, page B1.
  4. ^ "Mary Jackson, Milford: Actress played Miss Emily in 'The Waltons' TV series", The Detroit News, December 14, 2005.
  5. ^ "Mary Jackson, 95, Actress Known for Her Role on 'The Waltons'", Los Angeles Times, December 15, 2005, p. B11
  6. ^ "Mary Jackson Character Actress"[permanent dead link], The Washington Post, December 22, 2005, page B08.
  7. ^ greg. "Mary Jackson (1962)". Historic Elitch Theatre. Retrieved 2022-10-30.
  8. ^ "Mary Jackson obituary".
  9. ^ "Waltons Star Dies Aged 95",, December 16, 2005.

External linksEdit