and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

What is Irene Ryan Net Worth 2023: Overview, Interview

What is Irene Ryan Net Worth 2023 Overview, Interview

Irene Ryan was an American actress who found success in vaudeville, radio, film, television, and Broadway. She was known for her comedic timing and was a popular figure in the entertainment industry. In this article, Fidlar will give you a full insight about Irene Ryan net worth and her career as well.

What is Irene Ryan’s Net Worth and Salary 2023?

What is Irene Ryan’s Net Worth and Salary 2023

Irene Ryan was an American actress whose net worth was estimated at $1 million when she passed away in 1973.

Irene Ryan Overview

Irene Ryan Overview

Early years

Ryan was born as Irene Noblitt, Noblett or Noblette on October 17, 1902, in El Paso, Texas. She was the second child and latter daughter born to Catherine J. “Katie” and James Merritt Noblitt. Her father was an army sergeant from North Carolina and her mother had emigrated from Ireland. Jessie Irene was 17 years younger than her sister, Anna.


Ryan’s performing career began at the age of 11, when she won $3 for singing “Pretty Baby” at an amateur contest at the Valencia Theater in San Francisco.

She married writer-comedian Tim Ryan at 20. They performed in vaudeville as a double act known in show business as a “Dumb Dora” routine, epitomized by George Burns and Gracie Allen. Known professionally as Tim and Irene, they starred in 11 short comedies for Educational Pictures between 1935 and 1937.

The films were usually vehicles for the vaudevillian dialogue between Irene and Tim- with Irene as the flighty young woman who drives Tim to distraction. Tim’s frequent admonition, “Will you stop?”, became a catchphrase and then the title of one of their shorts. The Jell-o Summer Show on NBC’s Red Network was graced with the talents of (insert creative and funny name here) in 1936.

The Ryans were childless and divorced in 1942, though Irene retained the surname. She toured with Bob Hope and was featured on his radio program for two years. She played Edgar Kennedy’s wife in two of his RKO short films in 1943. The same year, she made an appearance in the country music film O, My Darling Clementine.

By 1943, Tim Ryan had become a prolific character actor in movies. Monogram Pictures reunited Tim and Irene for four feature films, the last being the 1944 musical feature Hot Rhythm with Dona Drake. Tim’s career was really taking off by then, and it was great to see him and Irene working together again.

Irene continued to work in motion pictures throughout the 1940s and early 1950s, mostly playing fussy or nervous women. In 1946, she joined the cast of The Jack Carson Show on CBS Radio, playing “a neighborhood storekeeper who operates a combination candy shop and lending library.”

In January 1955, she made her first appearance on a television sitcom when she guest-starred on an episode of the CBS series The Danny Thomas Show. She later appeared with Walter Brennan in the 1959 episode “Grandpa’s New Job” on the ABC sitcom The Real McCoys.

In the 1960-1961 CBS sitcom Bringing Up Buddy, starring Frank Aletter, she was cast as Cynthia Boyle in three episodes, and as Rusty Wallace in “The Romance of Silver Pines”, a 1962 episode of My Three Sons, starring Fred MacMurray. She guest-starred as Ellie McCabe in “The Old Stowe Road,” a 1962 episode of the CBS sitcom Ichabod and Me.

In 1966, Ryan was a contestant/celebrity guest star on the game show Password.

The Beverly Hillbillies

Ryan landed her most well-known role in 1962 as Daisy “Granny” Moses, mother-in-law of patriarch Jed Clampett, on The Beverly Hillbillies (even though Ryan was only five and a half years older than Ebsen). The character was named after the late artist Anna Mary Robertson “Grandma” Moses, who only began her professional career as a painter later in life.

Paul Henning, the series creator and producer, had originally decided to cast Bea Benaderet as Granny. However, when Ryan read for the role with her hair tied back in a bun and looking feisty, everyone was taken with her performance. Executive producer Al Simon and Henning immediately said, “That’s Granny!” Later, when Benaderet saw Ryan’s audition, she agreed. Benaderet was cast as Jed Clampett’s cousin, Pearl Bodine.

In 1966, Irene Ryan played Granny in the comedy Don’t Worry, We’ll Think of a Title, co-starring Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam


In both 1963 and 1964, Ryan was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead).

Ryan was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Supporting or Featured Actress in a Musical in 1973 for her performance in Pippin. However, she lost to Patricia Elliott in a ceremony held about a month before Ryan’s death.


On March 10, 1973, Ryan suffered an apparent stroke during a performance of Pippin. She flew home to California on her doctor’s orders and was hospitalized. She was diagnosed with an inoperable glioblastoma (malignant brain tumor).

Ryan died at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California on April 26, 1973, aged 70. The underlying cause of death was glioblastoma, with arteriosclerotic heart disease as a contributing factor. Her body was interred in a mausoleum at the Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery in Santa Monica beside her sister, Anna Thompson.

Legacy and charitable causes

The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship provides financial assistance to talented actors who participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

The scholarship provides “recognition, honor, and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education.” Since 1972, the Irene Ryan Foundation has awarded these scholarships.

Irene Ryan’s personal life was largely shaped by her work as an actress. She was married three times and had four children, all of whom she raised while working. Her first marriage, to actor Harry Carey, Jr., ended in divorce after ten years. Her second marriage, to businessman John Ryan, also ended in divorce. She married her third husband, actor Chuck Roberson, in 1984, and they remained married until his death in 1999.

Why is Irene Ryan famous?

Why is Irene Ryan famous

Irene Ryan is best known for her portrayal of Daisy May “Granny” Moses, the mother-in-law of Buddy Ebsen’s character Jed Clampett, on the long-running TV series The Beverly Hillbillies (1962–1971). Ryan’s outstanding performance as a comedic lead actress in 1963 and 1964 earned her Emmy Award nominations.

FAQs about Irene Ryan

FAQs about Irene Ryan

Was Irene Ryan a smoker?

Ryan was addicted to smoking from a young age., and stated in an interview that she “smoked like a chimney” on set.

Did Irene Ryan ever have any children?

The Ryans had no children and divorced in 1942, but Irene kept the surname.

How did Irene Ryan die?

Irene Ryan’s death was caused by glioblastoma and arteriosclerotic heart disease. She died from a stroke. She had always been a chain smoker.

How old was Irene Ryan when she passed away?

Irene Ryan was 70 years old when she passed away.

Who did Irene Ryan leave her estate?

Before she passed away, Irene had no heirs and established the Irene Ryan Foundation with her estate of around $1,000,000. The foundation provides acting scholarships to deserving students.


In conclusion, Irene Ryan was an incredible actress with a long and successful career. If you’re a fan of her work, be sure to check out her filmography. Thank you for reading the article and don’t forget to visit Fidlar to stay updated.

5/5 - (1 vote)