Edith Marie Blossom MacDonald (August 21, 1895 – January 14, 1978), known as Blossom Rock, was an American actress of vaudeville, stage, television, and film. She was occasionally billed as Marie Blake or Blossom MacDonald. Her younger sister was screen actress and singer Jeanette MacDonald. Rock is probably best known for her role as "Grandmama" on the 1960s horror sitcom The Addams Family.
Edith Marie Blossom MacDonald
August 21, 1895
|Died||January 14, 1978 82) (aged|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale Memory Slope #1183|
Clarence Warren Rock
(m. 1926; died 1960)
|Relatives||Jeanette MacDonald (sister)|
Blossom Rock was born on August 21, 1895, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the second of three daughters born to Anna May (née Wright; July, 1871 – May 16, 1947) and Daniel MacDonald (April, 1869 – August 8, 1924). As a youth, she first performed in vaudeville with her younger sister, Jeanette. She had an elder sister, Elsie Wallace MacDonald (1894–1970), who had also been a vaudeville performer and then operated a dance school until 1962.
She married her husband, actor Clarence Warren Rock, on September 26, 1926, in Manhattan, and they performed as a vaudeville act titled "Rock and Blossom" from 1925 to 1929. Clarence Rock died in 1960, and the couple had no children.
Rock adopted the name Marie Blake for her film career, starting in 1937 with an uncredited appearance in My Dear Miss Aldrich. Her first credited major part was Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), and she then played her most notable onscreen role as Sally, the hospital switchboard operator, in all nine pictures of MGM's Dr. Kildare film series from 1938 to 1942. She once had the same agent as Irene Ryan, whose similar career later caused Rock to fire him.
Rock returned to using her real name in the 1950s, and later gained her biggest fame by playing "Grandmama" on the ABC series The Addams Family, which ran from 1964 to 1966. In October 1964, she made a public appearance in character at a haunted house at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.
Illness and death
Shortly after production on Season 2 of The Addams Family concluded in 1966, Rock suffered a stroke in that affected her speech and prevented her from reuniting with fellow castmates for the 1977 television film Halloween with the New Addams Family. However, she watched the film from the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital. She died on January 14, 1978, in Los Angeles, California, at age 82, and was interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
The stroke to Blossom that happened in late 1966 left her so weak she was unable to walk and a slow deep-slurred speech. However within months, Blossom regained some of her strength but was unable to walk, except for short distances, without support. Her heavily-slurred speech never improved.
- Inman, Julie (October 22, 1964). "Addams' Grandmama Visits Haunted House". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
- Mansour, David (2011). From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 190. ISBN 9780740793073. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- Rowan, Terry. character-Based Film Series Part 1. Lulu.com. p. 60. ISBN 9781365421051. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- "J. MacDonald's Sis Plays Granny Addams". El Paso Herald-Post. Texas, El Paso. July 17, 1965. p. 30. Retrieved January 7, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- Cox, Stephen (1998). The Addams Chronicles: An Altogether Ooky Look at the Addams Family. Cumberland House Publishing (2nd Edition). ISBN 1888952911.
- Staff. "Chapter 3 - 1964-1982". The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
- Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. (2 volume set). McFarland. pp. 637–638. ISBN 9780786479924. Retrieved 8 January 2017.