Frances Bay

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Frances Bay
Frances bay.jpg
Frances Bay in 1999
Frances Evelyn Goffman

(1919-01-23)January 23, 1919
DiedSeptember 15, 2011(2011-09-15) (aged 92)
Resting place Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery
Years active19762011
Employer Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Home town Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada
Charles Bay
(m. 1946;his death 2002)

Frances Evelyn Bay (née Goffman; January 23, 1919 – September 15, 2011) was a Canadian-American character actress. [2] 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.

Canadas Walk of Fame

Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a walk of fame that acknowledges the achievements and accomplishments of Canadians who have excelled in their respective fields.


Early life

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. [1]

Mannville, Alberta Village in Alberta, Canada

Mannville is a village in central Alberta, Canada. It is located at the intersection of the Yellowhead Highway and Highway 881, approximately 22 kilometres (14 mi) west of Vermilion and 170 kilometres (110 mi) east of Edmonton. Its primary industry is agriculture

Dauphin, Manitoba City in Manitoba, Canada

Dauphin is a city in Manitoba, Canada, with a population of 8,457 as of the 2016 Canadian Census, with an additional 2,388 living in the surrounding Rural Municipality of Dauphin, for a total of 10,845 in the RM and City combined. Dauphin is Manitoba's 9th largest community and serves as a hub to the province's Parkland Region.

Erving Goffman Sociologist, writer, academic

Erving Goffman was a Canadian-American sociologist, social psychologist, and writer, considered by some "the most influential American sociologist of the twentieth century". In 2007 he was listed by The Times Higher Education Guide as the sixth most-cited author in the humanities and social sciences, behind Anthony Giddens, Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault, and ahead of Jürgen Habermas.

She married Charles Irwin Bay (born December 15, 1918 – died 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. [3] Charles and Frances Bay had one son, Josh (Eli Joshua; March 14, 1947 – June 6, 1970), who died at the age of 23.[ citation needed ]

Cape Town Capital city of the Western Cape province and legislative capital of South Africa

Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa, colloquially named the Mother City. It is the legislative capital of South Africa and primate city of the Western Cape province. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality.

Constantia, Cape Town Place in Western Cape, South Africa

Constantia is an affluent suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, situated about 15 kilometres south of the centre of Cape Town. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious suburbs in South Africa. The Constantia Valley lies to the east of and at the foot of the Constantiaberg mountain. Constantia Nek is a low pass linking to Hout Bay in the west.

Camps Bay Place in Western Cape, South Africa

Camps Bay is an affluent suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. In summer it attracts a large number of foreign visitors as well as South Africans.


Bay started her career in the 1930s as a radio actress. [4]

Bay returned to acting in the 1970s, [4] 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.

<i>Foul Play</i> (1978 film) 1978 film by Colin Higgins

Foul Play is a 1978 American comedy mystery-thriller film written and directed by Colin Higgins, and starring Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase, Dudley Moore, Burgess Meredith, Eugene Roche, Rachel Roberts, Brian Dennehy and Billy Barty. In it, a recently divorced librarian is drawn into a mystery when a stranger hides a roll of film in a pack of cigarettes and gives it to her for safekeeping.

Goldie Hawn American actress, film director, and producer

Goldie Jeanne Hawn is an American actress, producer, and singer. She rose to fame on the NBC sketch comedy program Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1968–70), before going on to receive the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Cactus Flower (1969).

Chevy Chase American comedian, writer and actor

Cornelius Crane "Chevy" Chase is an American comedian, actor and writer.

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". [3]

Fonzie fictional human

Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli is a fictional character played by Henry Winkler in the American sitcom Happy Days (1974–1984). He was originally a secondary character, but was soon positioned as a lead character when he began surpassing the other characters in popularity.

<i>Happy Days</i> 1974-1984 television comedy set in the 1950s

Happy Days is an American television sitcom that aired first-run from January 15, 1974 to September 24, 1984 on ABC, with a total of 255 half-hour episodes spanning eleven seasons. Created by Garry Marshall, the series presented one of the most successful series of the 1970s, an idealized vision of life in the mid-1950s to mid-1960s Midwestern United States, and starred Ron Howard as teenager Richie Cunningham, Henry Winkler as his friend Arthur "Fonzie"/"The Fonz" Fonzarelli, and Tom Bosley and Marion Ross as Richie's parents, Howard and Marion Cunningham. Happy Days became one of the biggest hits in television history and heavily influenced the television style of its time.

Henry Winkler American actor, director and writer

Henry Franklin Winkler OBE is an American actor, comedian, director, producer, and author. He played the role of greaser Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli, the breakout character of the 1970s American sitcom Happy Days. He also starred as Sy Mittleman on Adult Swim's Childrens Hospital, and as Eddie R. Lawson on USA Networks's Royal Pains. Winkler also had notable guest-starring roles on Arrested Development as Barry Zuckerkorn and Dr. Saperstein on Parks and Recreation. In 2018, he began appearing as Gene Cousineau on the HBO comedy Barry.

In 1983, she played the grandmother in Little Red Riding Hood in Faerie Tale Theatre for Showtime. She appeared in the final episodes of three long-running sitcom series: Happy Days , and Who's the Boss? [5] [6] 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). [5] [6]

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 . [5] [6]

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. [6] [5]

Bay appeared in the 2002 music video for Jimmy Fallon's comedy song, "Idiot Boyfriend". [7] 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". [6] [5] She also worked in theatre, winning both the Drama-Logue Award and Gemini Award. [4] [2]

Bay was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame on September 6, 2008, [8] 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. [9] [3]

Personal life and death

In 2002 Bay was involved in an auto accident in Glendale, California, which required her to have her leg amputated below the knee. [6]

Bay died in Tarzana, California on September 15, 2011, of complications from pneumonia at the age of 92.


1978 Foul Play Mrs. Russel
1979 Chilly Scenes of Winter Mrs. Delillo
1980 The Attic Librarian
1981 Amy Mrs. Lindey
1981 Honky Tonk Freeway Mrs. Lewenowski
1981Dream On!
1981 Buddy Buddy Female Patient
1982Double ExposureOld Woman
1983 Private School Birdie Fallmouth
1984 The Karate Kid Lady with Dog
1985 Movers & Shakers Betty Gritz
1986 Nomads Bertril
1986 Blue Velvet Aunt Barbara
1987Medium RareGertrude
1988 Big Top Pee-wee Mrs. Haynes
1988 Twins Mother Superior
1989 The Karate Kid Part III Mrs. Milo
1990 Wild at Heart Madam
1990 Arachnophobia Evelyn Metcalf
1990 The Grifters Arizona Motel Clerk
1991 The Pit and the Pendulum Esmeralda
1991 Critters 3 Mrs. Menges
1992 Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me Mrs. Tremond (Chalfont)
1992 Inside Monkey Zetterland Grandma
1992 Single White Female Elderly Neighbor
1993 The Neighbor Aunt Sylvia
1994 The Paperboy Mrs. Rosemont
1994 In the Mouth of Madness Mrs. Pickman
1996 Happy Gilmore Grandma
1996 Never Too Late Elisabeth Kronner
1997Changing HabitsMidge
1997Mitzi & JoeMitzi
1998 Krippendorf's Tribe Edith Proxmire
1998 Goodbye Lover Old Woman
1999 Inspector Gadget Thelma
2000 The Operator Mrs. Sloan
2000 Stranger than Fiction Mrs. Steiner
2000A Day in a LifeRosa
2001 The Wedding Planner Dottie
2001 Finder's Fee Mrs. Darmsetter
2002 Kiss the Bride Grandma Julia
2003 The Movie Hero Wise Old Woman
2004In the Land of Milk and MoneyGrandma Shallot
2005 Edmond Fortune Teller
2009 Repo Chick Grandma De La Chasse
2010Pickin' & Grinnin'Grandma Johnson
2010Bare KnucklesRosie Mcintyre
2014 Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces Mrs. Tremond (Chalfont)(final film role)

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  1. 1 2 Cavan, Sherri (July 2011). "When Erving Goffman was a Boy". University of Nevada, Las Vegas. p. 4.
  2. 1 2 Noland, Claire (September 16, 2011). "Character actress Frances Bay dies at 92". Los Angeles Times .
  3. 1 2 3 Michael Posner, "Seinfeld's marble rye lady honoured", Toronto Globe and Mail, September 6, 2008, pg. R4
  4. 1 2 3 Zakarin, Jordan (September 18, 2011). "Frances Bay Dead: 'Happy Gilmore', 'Seinfeld' Actress Passes Away At 92". Huffington Post . Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Frances Bay on IMDb
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Oliver, Myrna (September 17, 2011). "Frances Bay dies at 92; veteran character actress", Los Angeles Times; accessed June 27, 2017.
  7. Maslin Nir, Sarah (September 18, 2011). "Frances Bay, Actress Known for ‘Old Lady’ Roles, Dies at 92". The New York Times .
  8. "Canada's Walk of Fame Inducts Frances Bay". Canada's Walk of Fame. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  9. "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.