Gloria Henry, the actress who was best known for playing matriarch Alice Mitchell on the beloved 1960s sitcom “Dennis The Menace,” passed away on Sunday. She was 98 years-old.
The death of Henry, who passed away one day after her birthday, was confirmed on social media by her daughter Erin Ellwood.
“She’s flying now, free of her body,” Ellwood wrote alongside a photo of her mother standing in front of angel wings. “She left on a countdown 4 3 2 1 @ 3:40pm. She was such an incredible woman in so many ways. This last year with her has been beautiful and heartbreaking. Thank you all for following me and supporting me on this journey – this beautiful land mine. Goodbye Momma, I love your guts forever.”
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Henry’s son Adam Ellwood also confirmed her death on Facebook, writing, “It is with great sadness to let of all my dear and amazing mother’s fans know that she passed peacefully… in her home in Los Angeles.” He reported that she died surrounded by her son Jeff Ellwood, her daughter Erin Ellwood, and her hospice-care nurse.”
“Please raise a glass and a toast to our beautiful mother Gloria Henry for a life well lived,” he added, according to Extra.
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1923, Henry was a contract player at Columbia in the 1940s. She quickly found success, starring in movies like Keeper of the Bees and Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back. She continued to have success in films into the 1950s, but it was when she moved to television that she would be cast in what would become her most famous role.
Henry was cast as Alice Mitchell on “Dennis The Menace” in 1959, starring on the show for four seasons, according to Fox News. Though it went off the air in 1963, reruns of the sitcom have been on air in the decades since.
“Many of the fans say, ‘Oh, I always wished you were my mom’ and ‘My mom was jealous of you because I wanted you for a mom,’” Henry would later say in a 2011 interview. “Which is pretty funny, because I don’t think my own children felt that way. I have a daughter and two sons. All they knew was, I was off to work, and I wasn’t with them as much as they would have liked me to be.”
Henry’s last role onscreen was a 2012 guest appearance on “Parks and Recreation.” She is survived by her three children, and by her legions of fans.