A heavy-set character player with a hearty voice and a slightly worried expression, Jane Darwell was often cast in matronly roles. Although she played a wide variety of roles (including an unsympathetic part as one of the lynchers in the memorable "The Ox-Bow Incident" 1943) in a career spanning well over 100 credits from the early 1930s through the mid-60s, she was most typically seen as concerned, warm-hearted mothers. For many fans, Darwell will always be remembered for her towering, Oscar-winning performance as Ma Joad in John Ford's stirring adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940). One of her last screen appearances was as an elderly woman seen tossing crumbs to the pigeons while Julie Andrews warbled "Feed the Birds" in "Mary Poppins" (1964).
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