LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Funeral services are pending for Ellen Albertini Dow, a 101-year-old actress best known for her memorable rapping performance in the 1998 Adam Sandler comedy “The Wedding Singer.”
Albertini Dow died Monday afternoon March 4, according to the Los Angeles Pierce College Theatre Department, which was founded by the actress’ husband, Eugene.
“Mrs. Dow was also a theater instructor, primarily teaching children’s and musical theater, at Pierce College for many years,” according to a post on the LAPC Theatre Department’s Facebook page. “She directed our original production of `The Fantastiks’ in the late 60s and we honored her with our remounting of the musical in the fall of 2014. She donated $150,000 to our theater department in 2005 to fund substantial improvements to our black box theater space. At that time the theater was named The Eugene Francis & Ellen Albertini Dow Arena Theatre in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Dow, both of whom did so much for our department over the years.
“Mr. and Mrs. Dow had no children, but she did have many nieces and nephews, most of whom live in Pennsylvania, where she grew up. She was very close to former Pierce theater student Gloria Watts and her daughter Katie, who has been in several of our shows — most recently `Cabaret’ last December.”
Born in 1913, Albertini Dow was a longtime drama and dance teacher. She didn’t make her big-screen debut until 1985, when she appeared in “American Drive-In.” She worked fairly steadily after that, appearing in films such as “Memoirs of an Invisible Man,” “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit” and “Patch Adams.”
She was a more regular fixture on television, making a series of appearances on “The Golden Girls” and showing up in episodes of “Newhart,” “Murphy Brown,” “True Colors,” “Family Matters,” “Ned and Stacey,” “Maybe It’s Me,” “Six Feet Under” and even lending her voice to the animated “Family Guy.” She will forever be remembered, however, for her role as Rosie in “The Wedding Singer,” taking the stage and belting out an original version of the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.”