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Eleanor Audley

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Full Name  Eleanor Zellman
Name  Eleanor Audley
Years active  1942–1970

Nationality  American
Role  Actress
Eleanor Audley Meet Eleanor Audley the Original 39Maleficent39 The Wire
Born  November 19, 1905 (1905-11-19) New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation  Radio, film, television and voice actress
Known for  Maleficent, Lady Tremaine
Spouse(s)  ????? Audley (m. 19?? - d. 19??)
Died  November 25, 1991, North Hollywood, California, United States
Resting place  Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery
Movies and TV shows  Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Green Acres, Cell 2455 Death Row, Gambling House
Similar People  Verna Felton, Ilene Woods, Mary Costa, Bill Shirley, Clyde Geronimi

Cause of death  Respiratory failure

Eleanor audley voice of maleficent lady tremaine madam leota

Eleanor Audley (born Eleanor Zellman; November 19, 1905 – November 25, 1991) was an American actress who had a distinctive voice in radio and animation, in addition to her TV and film roles. She is best remembered on television as Oliver Douglas's mother, Eunice Douglas, on the CBS sitcom, Green Acres (1965–69); and for providing Disney animated features with the villainess voices of Lady Tremaine, Cinderella's evil stepmother, from Cinderella (1950); and the evil fairy, Maleficent, from Sleeping Beauty (1959). She was known in her career for mostly playing characters with snobbish mean attitudes. Audley provided the voice of Madame Leota, the spirit medium, from Disney's Haunted Mansion attractions.


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Jacob remembers eleanor audley on november 19th 2014

Early life and career

Eleanor Audley An appreciation of Maleficent and Eleanor Audley

Audley was born Eleanor Zellman in New York on November 19, 1905. She made her acting debut in the 1926 broadway production of Howdy, King. Other stage appearances include: On Call (1928); Pigeons and People (1933); Thunder on the Left (1933); Kill That Story (1934); Ladies' Money (1934); Susan and God (1937); and In Bed We Cry (1943).

Audley worked extensively in the 1940s and '50s in Hollywood radio on such programs as Escape; Suspense; My Favorite Husband (as mother-in-law, Leticia Cooper); The Story of Dr. Kildare (as receptionist Molly Byrd); and Father Knows Best (as Anderson family neighbor, Elizabeth Smith). She played the stepmother in re-imaginings of the Cinderella story included in episodes of the series, The Hallmark Playhouse, and the weekly western series, The Six Shooter.

Film and animation

Audley's film appearances include: No Way Out (1950); Three Secrets (1950); Gambling House (1950); Starlift (1951); With a Song in My Heart (1952); Untamed (1955); Cell 2455, Death Row (1955); All That Heaven Allows (1955); The Unguarded Moment (1956); Full of Life (1956); Jeanne Eagels (1957); Voice in the Mirror (1958); Home Before Dark (1958); The FBI Story (1959); The Pleasure of His Company (1961); The Second Time Around (1961); Wives and Lovers (1963); The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964); Kisses for My President (1964); I'll Take Sweden (1965); and Hook, Line and Sinker (1969).

In the animated film industry, Audley was best known for providing her distinctive voice to Lady Tremaine, Cinderella's evil stepmother, in the 1950 Disney film Cinderella; and Princess Aurora's evil fairy nemesis, Maleficent, in Disney's 1959 version of Sleeping Beauty. For those films, animators Frank Thomas and Marc Davis designed the characters' facial features and expressions to be closely similar to Audley. She was the live-action model for both characters. Audley had initially turned down the role of Maleficent because she was battling tuberculosis at the time.

Since 1969, Audley's voice has been used as the voice of Madame Leota, the spirit of a psychic medium, in the Haunted Mansion attractions in Disneyland and Walt Disney World.


From 1954 until 1970, Audley appeared regularly on television, including: I Love Lucy; Crossroads; The People's Choice; Richard Diamond, Private Detective; Perry Mason; Dennis the Menace; Hazel; Pete and Gladys; The Real McCoys; The Twilight Zone; Mr. Lucky; The Dick Van Dyke Show (as Parent-Teacher Association head, Peggy Billings); The Beverly Hillbillies (as Potts School headmistress, Millicent Schuyler-Potts); Mister Ed (as Aunt Martha); and My Three Sons (as mother-in-law, Beatrice Vincent, which was her final role before retiring).

Audley was a series regular on the CBS sitcom Green Acres from 1965 - 69, playing Oliver Douglas's disapproving mother, Eunice Douglas, despite being only five months older than Eddie Albert who played her son. When the cast were reunited for a 1990 TV movie, Return to Green Acres, Audley, who suffered from failing health, could not appear.


Audley died at the age of 86 from respiratory failure, in North Hollywood, California on November 25, 1991. She is interred at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Hollywood Hills, California.

Film roles

  • The Story of Molly X (1949) – Parole Board Member (uncredited)
  • Cinderella (1950) – Lady Tremaine (voice)
  • No Way Out (1950) – Wife (uncredited)
  • Pretty Baby (1950) – Miss Karen Brindel
  • Three Secrets (1950) – Warden (uncredited)
  • Gambling House (1950) – Mrs. Fern Livingston
  • Starlift (1951) – Mrs. Louise Williams (uncredited)
  • With a Song in My Heart (1952) – Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
  • Prince of Players (1955) – Actress as Mrs. Mandy Montchesington (uncredited)
  • Untamed (1955) – Lady Vernon (uncredited)
  • Cell 2245, Death Row (1955) – Blanche
  • All That Heaven Allows (1955) – Mrs. Jill Humphrey (uncredited)
  • The Toy Tiger (1956) – Woman in Reading Room (uncredited)
  • The Unguarded Moment (1956) – Mr. Pendleton's Secretary
  • Full of Life (1956) – Mrs. Kelly Jameson
  • Spoliers of the Forest (1957) – Mrs. Shelby Walters
  • Jeanne Eagels (1957) – Sob Sister at Party (uncredited)
  • Voice in the Mirror (1958) – Speaker at Soup Kitchen (uncredited)
  • Step Down in Terror (1958) – Mrs. Felicia Brighton
  • Home Before Dark (1958) – Mrs. Jayne Hathaway
  • Sleeping Beauty (1959) – Maleficent (voice)
  • The FBI Story (1959) – Mrs. Lynda King (uncredited)
  • A Summer Place (1959) – Waiting Guest at Molly's College (uncredited)
  • Waldo (1960)
  • The Gun of Zangara (1960) – Mrs. Alexandra Cross (uncredited)
  • The Pleasure of His Company (1961) – Mrs. Lilly Thompson (uncredited)
  • The Second Time Around (1961) – Mrs. Katie Trask
  • Wives and Lovers (1963) – Fan at Sardi's (uncredited)
  • The Wheelers Dealers (1963) – Art Critic (uncredited)
  • The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) – Mrs. Michelle Cartwright (uncredited)
  • Kisses for My President (1964) – School Principal Osgood (uncredited)
  • I'll Take Sweden (1965) – Mrs. Anna Dow (uncredited)
  • The Far Out West (1967) – Mrs. Becky Teasley (uncredited)
  • Never a Dull Moment (1968) – Matron (uncredited)
  • Hook, Line and Sinker (1969) – Mrs. Maya Durham
  • Radio appearances

  • "The Bishop and the Gargoyle" (NBC special, July 14, 1940)
  • Suspense (CBS, 1940s, not often credited), episodes include repeats of "Sorry, Wrong Number" and "The Man Who Wanted to Be Edward G. Robinson" (both 1948)
  • Romance (CBS series, 1944-1954, not often credited), episodes includes "Pride and Prejudice" and "The Long Way Home"
  • Adventure Ahead (NBC Red, 1944)
  • Words At War (NBC Red, 1945)
  • The Eternal Light (NBC, 1945-1946)
  • Encore Theatre (CBS, 1946)
  • The Big Story (NBC, 1947)
  • Escape (CBS, 1947-1948), episodes include "Back for Christmas" and "The Man Who Could Work Miracles"
  • The Adventures of Ellery Queen (ABC, 1947-1948)
  • The Whistler (CBS, 1948-1950)
  • Lux Radio Theatre (CBS, 1948-1954)
  • Sealtest Variety Theatre (NBC, 1949)
  • My Home Town (NBC, 1949)
  • This is Your FBI (ABC, 1949)
  • Richard Diamond, Private Detective (NBC, 1949)
  • NBC University Theatre (NBC, 1949)
  • Pursuit (CBS, 1949)
  • The Hotpoint Holiday Hour (CBS, 1949), "The Man Who Came To Dinner"
  • My Favorite Husband (CBS, 1949 -1951) – Mrs. Leticia Cooper
  • The Story of Dr. Kildare (syndicated, 1949-1950) – Molly Byrd
  • Father Knows Best (NBC, 1949-1954) – Mrs. Elizabeth Smith
  • The Railroad Hour (NBC, 1949-1954)
  • The Life of Riley (NBC, 1950)
  • The Halls of Ivy (NBC, 1950)
  • The Adventures of Christopher London (NBC, 1950)
  • Screen Directors Playhouse (NBC, 1950-1951)
  • Night Beat (NBC, 1950-1952)
  • The Saint (NBC, 1950)
  • Family Theatre (Mutual, 1950-1951)
  • Hollywood Star Playhouse (CBS, 1951)
  • The Hallmark Playhouse (CBS, 1951), includes "The Story Of Cinderella"
  • The Six Shooter (NBC, 1953-1954) – Mrs. Abbey Ames
  • Fibber McGee and Molly (NBC, 1954-1955)
  • Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar (CBS, 1955-1960)
  • The CBS Radio Workshop (CBS, 1956-1957)
  • Theme parks

  • Haunted Mansion – Madame Leota (voice)
  • HalloWishes – Madame Leota (voice)
  • Discography

  • Walt Disney's Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1949, RCA/Camden) - Evil Queen
  • Walt Disney's Cinderella (1954, RCA/Camden) - Lady Tremaine
  • Disney Songs and Story: Sleeping Beauty (2012, Walt Disney Records) - Maleficent
  • Stage appearances

  • Howdy, King – "as guest in hotel", Dec 13, 1926 – Jan 1927
  • On Call – as "Mary Randall", Nov 9, 1928 – Jan 1929
  • Pigeons and People – as "Elinore Payne", Jan 16, 1933 – Nov 1933
  • Thunder on the Left – as "Ruth Brook", Oct 31, 1933 – Nov 1933
  • Kill That Story – as "Millicent", Aug 29, 1934 – Dec 1934
  • Ladies' Money – as "Claire Touhey", Nov 1, 1934 – Dec 1934
  • Susan and God – as "Charlotte Marley", Oct 7, 1937 – Jun 1938 – Dec 13, 1943 – Dec 18, 1943
  • In Bed We Cry – as "Claire Dangerfield", Nov 14, 1943 – Dec 23, 1944
  • References

    Eleanor Audley Wikipedia

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