Anne Ramsey

The queen of playing mean onscreen, Anne Ramsey hailed from a blueblood family and enjoyed a distinguished theatrical career, founding the Theatre of the Living Arts with her husband Logan Ramsey. Beginning her film career later in life, her distinctively gruff voice and demeanor quickly set her apart. Immediately recognizable and unforgettable, she booked small appearances in high-profile projects throughout the 1970s, including "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble" (ABC, 1976), "Fun with Dick and Jane" (1977), "Goin' South" (1978) and "Any Which Way You Can" (1980). In 1984, she underwent surgery for esophageal cancer, which necessitated the removal of part of her tongue and jaw, which added to her trademark slurred speech and gravelly voice, which she used to wonderful effect as the villainous Mama Fratelli in "The Goonies" (1985), for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Saturn Award. Sweet in real life but hilariously abusive and deliciously mean-spirited onscreen, Ramsey scored again with small bits in "Deadly Friend" (1986) and "Love at Stake" (1987), and won her second Saturn Award as Danny DeVito's mother-from-hell in "Throw Momma from the Train" (1987), as well as nominations for an Oscar and Golden Globe. Sadly, her cancer returned and she died on Aug. 11, 1988, with several projects already in the can, including a cameo in Bill Murray's "Scrooged" (1988). Much loved for her one-of-a-kind character work, Anne Ramsey earned enormous critical and popular acclaim for her unexpectedly lovable characters.