Actress Ellen Albertini Dow passed away yesterday at 101 years old. While her movie acting career (which didn’t start until she was in her 70s!) spanned many films, she was probably most known for her turn as the rapping granny in The Wedding Singer.
Dow was especially adept at playing a sweet old lady who had some bite and attitude to her. She started her acting career after retiring from teaching in 1985.
Dow might have gained acclaim and a certain association with Adam Sandler films for being the Rapping Granny in The Wedding Singer, but you have probably seen her many times before in less noticeable roles throughout Adam Sandler’s filmography.
Eight Crazy Nights Dow plays a funny-talking box of candy in Sandler’s first foray into animated features.
Billy Madison Rarely seen but often talked about in the movie, Dow plays Veronica Vaughn’s snooty older aunt who convinces Veronica that Billy is too immature for her and sets Vaughn up with her older, handsome, successful dentist who happens to be Shooter McGavin (Similar to the Marvel Universe, all of Adam Sandler’s movies exist in the same reality). Vaughn stands Shooter up and that’s when he starts being an asshole and joins the PGA Tour.
Happy Gilmore Dow plays a golfer on the LPGA tour that is going through the exact same story as Happy is with all the genders switched. The parallel stories are never mentioned in the final cut of the movie, but Dow is seen eating Subway in the booth next to Happy in one scene.
This movie is actually the first time Dow performs “Rapper’s Delight” (during halftime of the Bowl Game) but no one seemed to notice.
Big Daddy In this movie, Dow plays the first judge whom Sandler has to see in order to get custody of his son. Her catch phrase is “Don’t stink up my salad with those lies” and she says it a few dozen times.
50 First Dates After the success of Rapping Granny, Sandler tried to switch things up and brand Dow as Surfing Granny and have all 50 of the dates happen at a surfing competition that Dow always wins. The idea was later scrapped and the scenes were cut as Granny humor was going through a severe downtime before Betty White resurrected it in the late 2000s.
Punch-Drunk Love Dow was actually the voice on the other line during the famous sex-call scene. They cast a younger actress for the scenes where we saw her character but Paul Thomas Anderson thought she nailed the sex caller voice too well to rerecord that part.
Dow was not in Click but she did go see it as a personal favor to Adam.