Ellen Albertini Dow, rapping granny from The Wedding Singer, dies aged 101

Ellen Albertini Dow has passed away at the age of 101. The actress, who was best known as the rapping granny in The Wedding Singer, died on Monday.

Her agent confirmed the news to Deadline, but did not specify the cause of death.

Ellen began her on-screen career when she was in her seventies, and would often take on the roles of feisty elderly ladies.


Ellen Albertini Dow was best known as the rapping granny in The Wedding Singer

Apart from her hilarious portrayal in 1998's The Wedding Singer alongside Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore where she performed spot-on The Sugarhill Gang's Rapper's Delight, Ellen will also be remembered for her other colourful roles.

The Hollywood star played a foul-mouthed grandma in Wedding Crashers, as well as a choir nun in Sister Act.

She also made appearances in TV series including Will & Grace, Hannah Montana and Six Feet Under. One of her most recent roles was on New Girl in 2013.

Ellen Albertini Dow also made appearances in Sister Act and Wedding Crashers among other films

Born in 1913 in Pennsylvania, Ellen survived both world wars. She was the seventh and youngest child of ethnic Italian immigrant parents, Ellen and Oliver, and was raised in Mount Carmel.

The family moved to New York City when Ellen was five, at which point the budding star studied dance and piano and was taken under the professional wing of dancers Hanya Holm and Martha Graham.

She later studied acting with Michael Shurtleff and Uta Hagen, and worked with mimes Marcel Marceau and Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Ellen earned a B.A. and M.A. in theatre from Cornell University, where she became a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, graduating in 1935.

After moving to California to teach drama at Los Angeles City College and Pierce College, she met her husband Eugene Dow, who had founded the theatre programme. He passed away in 1983.

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