Veteran character actress Spring Byington is best remembered for her five-year starring role in the "December Bride" television series in the 1950s.
A native of Colorado Springs, Colo., Byington began acting at age 14 when she joined a stock company in Denver. In a career spanning almost 70 years, Byington appeared in more than 30 stage plays and 75 feature films including 1933's "Little Women," "Mutiny on the Bounty" and "The Charge of the Light Brigade."
But her signature role was Lily Ruskin, the often scatterbrained but wise mother-in-law of the CBS radio and television sitcom "December Bride." That role, which won her an Emmy nomination in 1958, "elevated the stature of the meddling, stereotyped mother-in-law to that of family heroine ..." according to one TV critic. The series ran from 1954 to 1959. Byington also played a supporting role in the NBC western series "Laramie" in 1961.
Byington married Roy Carey Chandler in 1915, and the couple divorced about four years later. They had two daughters, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Byington died in her Hollywood Hills home in 1971 at age 84 after a brief illness.
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