Jessie Royce Landis
Best known for her roles in in To Catch a Thief (1955),North by Northwest (1959), and The Swan (1956).
Mr. Belvedere Goes to College
It Happens Every Spring
My Foolish Heart
Mother Didn’t Tell Me
Meet Me Tonight
Main Street to Broadway
The Girl He Left Behind
I Married a Woman
A Private’s Affair
Boys’ Night Out
Gidget Goes to Rome
Jessie Royce Landis was born Jessie Medbury in Chicago, Illinois, to Paul, an orchestra musician, and Ella Medbury. Her acting surname “Landis” derives from her first husband, although she was married twice more.
Landis was a stage actress for much of her career. She was 20 when she made her stage debut at the Playhouse in Chicago as the young countess in “The Highwayman”. Soon she was on Broadway.
In the 1950s, she began appearing in movies as a character actress, most notably in To Catch a Thief (1955), and North by Northwest (1959), both starring Cary Grant and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. In North by Northwest she played Grant’s character’s mother, and in To Catch a Thief and The Swan (1956), she played the mothers of Grace Kelly‘s characters. Landis also made many television appearances.
Landis was married three times. Her third husband and widower was United States Army Major General John F. R. “Jeff” Seitz (died 1978). Her autobiography, titled You Won’t Be So Pretty (But You’ll Know More), was published in 1954. She had no children.
Landis died of cancer in Danbury, Connecticut on February 2, 1972, aged 75