Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 60° Clear
News >  Nation/World

‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Happy Gilmore’ actress Bay dies

Bay
Bay
Los Angeles Times

Frances Bay, the sweet, gentle housewife who became a successful actress in middle age, appearing in more than 50 motion pictures and 100 television shows including roles as the “marble rye lady” on “Seinfeld” and the grandmother in Adam Sandler’s “Happy Gilmore,” has died. She was 92.

Bay died Thursday at Providence Tarzana Medical Center in the San Fernando Valley. Bay had been ill with various infections.

Born in Mannville, Alberta, on Jan. 23, 1919, the shy, diminutive Bay began acting in Winnipeg, Manitoba – voicing princesses on radio shows – and then in Toronto.

Yet when she married her childhood sweetheart, businessman Charles Bay, the wannabe actress shelved her aspirations and became a homemaker when his job took them to the United States.

In the 1970s, when the couple were living in Manhattan, she resumed her acting studies, and when the Bays moved to Boston, she began acting in dinner theater, summer stock and radio.

When she and her husband moved permanently to Los Angeles, Bay’s career began to skyrocket. Beginning with the 1978 motion picture “Foul Play” starring Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase, and moving into television a couple of years later with appearances on “The Jeffersons,” “Dukes of Hazzard” and indelibly as Fonzie’s Grandma Nussbaum in “Happy Days,” Bay was never again in want of work.

Her characters were often described simply as “old woman,” “elderly neighbor,” an aunt or a grandmother. On “Seinfeld,” she memorably played a woman who tangled with Jerry over the last loaf of marble rye bread.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.