I got to thinking today about one of my former student’s grandmother, Molly McClure. Born as Mary Ella Karnes, in 1919, in Kentucky, her mother passed away a week after she was born and she was adopted by an uncle and his wife. She was always attracted to acting and the stage and co-founded a theater company in her hometown of Paducah,Kentucky. She is divorced from Rush McClure. She raised three daughters on her own. When her youngest daughter graduated from high school and went away to college, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an actress on the stage and screen. She retired from the acting business and moved to Texas with her oldest daughter, where she still lives. The highlight of her life is getting recognized for her work when she goes out in public.

Molly originated the role of Mama Wheelis in Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got The Will?, in Los Angeles, followed by a run at the Edinburgh Drama Festival and the MGM movie. Other stage credits include Ada Lester (Tobacco Road) and Mrs. Mavis (The Traveling Lady) both of which earned her the L.A. Drama-Logue awards. She played Hank Williams’ Mama Lillie in the Mark Taper Forum Production of Lost Highway.

She is frequently recognized in Texas as George Strait’s Grandma Ivey in Pure Country. She was the Rancher’s wife in City Slickers I and II, and a prospective nanny in Mrs. Doubtfire.

She played Naomie on The Young and the Restless (1991 – 1992 season) and had guest appearances on Evening Shade, Jack’s Place, Murphy Brown, Murder She Wrote, Quantum Leap, Northern Exposure, Picket Fences and Walker Texas Rangers.

She is Caliope’s Mother in the just released Wishbone video Dog Days of the West and was seen in The Patriot starring Steven Seagal.

Molly McClure, is the mother of Mickie Norfleet (former piano student) and grandmother of Erin Norfleet (former voice, piano, acting student; directed Erin in several shows).

Actress – filmography
The Patriot (1998/I) …. Molly
Finding North (1998) …. Aunt Bonnie
“Walker, Texas Ranger”Rainbow’s End (1997) TV Episode …. Sally Calhoun – Case Closed (1995) TV Episode …. Elderly Woman
“Dead Man’s Walk” (1996) (mini) TV Series …. Old lady in Austin… aka Larry McMurtry’s Dead Man’s Walk
Under the Hula Moon (1995) …. Grandmother
“Northern Exposure”The Big Mushroom (1995) TV Episode …. Elli Thompson
City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold (1994) …. Millie Stone… aka City Slickers II (USA: short title) … aka City Slickers: The Legend of Curly’s Gold (UK)
“Picket Fences”System Down (1994) TV Episode …. Mrs. Bayles
A Gift from Heaven (1994)
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) …. Housekeeper
Precious Victims (1993) (TV) …. Trudy
“When Love Kills: The Seduction of John Hearn” (1993) (mini) TV Series …. Marjorie
Tainted Blood (1993) (TV) …. Lucille
“Murphy Brown”A Year to Remember (1992) TV Episode …. Volunteer #1
Pure Country (1992) …. Grandma Ivy Chandler
Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story (1992) (TV) …. Cashier
In Sickness and in Health (1992) (TV) …. Rhonda… aka Hearts on Fire
“The Torkelsons”I Fought the Law (1991) TV Episode …. Gertrude Perkins
City Slickers (1991) …. Millie Stone
“Quantum Leap”8 1/2 Months – November 15, 1955 (1991) TV Episode …. Mrs. Suffy
“Murder, She Wrote”Trials and Tribulations (1990) TV Episode …. Hester
Daddy’s Dyin’… Who’s Got the Will? (1990) …. Mama Wheelis
Everybody’s Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure (1989) (TV)
The Women of Brewster Place (1989) (TV) …. White Woman
Winnie (1988) (TV) …. Farm Woman
Arthur 2: On the Rocks (1988) (as Molly Mc Clure) …. Greta
Moving (1988) …. Puzzle Lady
Mistress (1987) (TV) …. Rae’s Aunt