Ethel Griffies

Ethel Griffies (born Ethel Woods; 26 April 1878 – 9 September 1975) was an English actress of stage, screen and television. She is perhaps best-known to modern audiences as the ornithologist Mrs. Bundy in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963).

Ethel Griffies
Ethel Woods

(1878-04-26)26 April 1878
Died9 September 1975(1975-09-09) (aged 97)
London, England
Years active1881–1967
Spouse(s)Walter Beaumont
(m. 1???; died 1910)
Edward Cooper
(m. 1917; died 1956)

Early years

Griffies was born in Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire,[1] the daughter of actors Samuel Rupert Woods and Lillie Roberts. Taken onstage at the age of three, she continued to act for the next 86 years.[1]

Personal life

Griffies married actor Walter Beaumont in 1900, and he died in 1910. In 1914, she married actor Edward Cooper,[1]:_72 who predeceased his wife by almost two decades.


On 9 September 1975, in London,[1]:75 Griffies died of a stroke.[2]


Griffies appeared in numerous plays, making her theatre debut in London in 1899. Having made brief cameos in films since 1917, she started a full career in the industry by 1930 in the film version of the play Old English, and appeared in her more than 90 film and television roles in a career that lasted until her retirement in 1967. She played Grace Poole in two versions of Jane Eyre, the 1934 Monogram version and the better-known 1943 version. One of her last roles was the elderly ornithologist Mrs. Bundy in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963). She also performed in Billy Liar 1963 the same year as The Birds.

Partial filmography


  1. Nissen, Axel (2016). Accustomed to Her Face: Thirty-Five Character Actresses of Golden Age Hollywood. McFarland. pp. 71–75. ISBN 9781476626062. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  2. Calta, Louis (12 September 1975). "Ethel Griffies, Who at 97 Was Oldest Working Actress, Dies" via

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