B-movie actress Gloria Henry — best known as mom Alice Mitchell on TV's Dennis the Menace — died Saturday, one day after her 98th birthday.
"It is with great sadness to let [all of] my dear and amazing mother's fans know that she passed peacefully... in her home in Los Angeles," her son Adam Ellwood reported on Facebook.
"Please raise a glass and a toast to our beautiful mother Gloria Henry for a life well lived," he continued.
She died surrounded by her son Jeff Ellwood, her daughter Erin Ellwood and her hospice-care nurse.
The New Orleans-born beauty was a contract player at Columbia, appearing in Sport of Kings (1947), Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back (1947), Rancho Notorious (1952) and a variety of sports-themed films, westerns and thrillers.
Henry was on TV early and often, playing Michelle Malone on the detective series The Files of Jeffrey Jones (1952) and appearing in the first-ever episode of Perry Mason (1957).
In 1959, she joined the cast of Dennis the Menace. In the days when series that lasted only a year or two still made a lasting impact, Dennis the Menace enjoyed four seasons, airing 146 episodes — and Henry was in every one, along with her series hubby Herbert Anderson (1917-1994) and the titular tyke himself, Jay North (b. 1951).
Others featured prominently on the show included Joseph Kearns (1907-1962) and Gale Gordon (1906-1995) as Mr. Wilson, and of course Jeannie Russell (b. 1950) as bespectacled Margaret. In her later years, Henry appeared with North and Russell at autograph shows.
Post-Dennis, Henry's career was hampered by typecasting, but she did manage a variety of TV guest spots, including on the "Bad Marsha" episode of Mr. Belvedere (1990), on which she and Rose Marie played against type as prisoners:
Her final TV work was on Sisters (1992), and her final film was Her Minor Thing (2005). A turn on Parks and Recreation (2012) wound up being cut from the final, aired episode.
Monday, July 4, 2022, 12:59pm: I wish to extend my deepest condolences to actor Jay North and the surviving family of actress Gloria Henry. One of the best comedies of the early 1960’s! I am deeply saddened by her passing, and I believe the last original surviving adult cast member of the beloved TV sitcom (1959-1963) who played the role of Alice Mitchell to absolute perfection and with a wonderful cast to support her: actors Herb Anderson, Jay North, Sylvia Field, Joseph Kearns, Jeannie Russell, and Billy Booth. To Ms. Henry: Requiescat in pace!