• Irene Ryan played "Granny" in 'The Beverly Hillbillies'
  • These were her ex-husbands
  • Her marriages didn't last

Irene Ryan (70), widely adored for her iconic portrayal of "Granny Clampett" on the classic television series 'The Beverly Hillbillies'. Not only did she capture the hearts of audiences through her memorable performances, but her personal life also added layers to her captivating narrative

A tumultuous union

The talented actress was once married to fellow actor Tim Ryan. Their union, marked by its share of highs and lows, unfortunately, reached an end. The Ryans divorced in 1942 without children. 

HOT RHYTHM, from left, Tim Ryan, Irene Ryan, 1944 Courtesy Everett Collection PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright:

The couple's divorce stirred headlines, with speculation about the reasons behind their separation. Despite the challenges in her personal life, Irene Ryan's professional journey continued to shine brightly.

A swift second marriage

In 1946 Irene wed producer Harold E. Knox, but they divorced in 1961, also without children. The actress continued working in motion pictures into the late 1940s and early 1950s, usually portraying fussy or nervous types of women.

More about 'The Beverly Hillbillies':

"Granny Clampett"'s enduring legacy:

It was her role as "Granny Clampett," the feisty and lovable matriarch in 'The Beverly Hillbillies,' that brought Ryan widespread recognition. Her comedic timing and endearing portrayal made Granny a beloved character and solidified Ryan's place in television history.

THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, from left: Irene Ryan, Donna Douglas, TV GUIDE cover, September 7-13, 1963. ph: Gene Trindl. TV

Curtain call: Remembering Irene Ryan's final act

In a tragic turn of events, on March 10, 1973, while gracing the stage in a performance of 'Pippin,' Irene Ryan suffered an apparent stroke. This marked the beginning of a somber chapter in her life, culminating in her passing on April 26 of the same year. The official cause of her demise, however, was determined to be a brain tumor, adding a poignant layer to the farewell of this esteemed actress.