Jean Speegle Howard

Jean Speegle Howard
Born Jean Frances Speegle[1]
(1927-01-31)January 31, 1927
Duncan, Oklahoma, U.S.
Died September 2, 2000(2000-09-02) (aged 73)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Heart and respiratory illness
Other names Jean Howard
Occupation Actress
Years active 1969–2000
Spouse(s) Rance Howard (1949 - 2000)
Children Ron Howard
Clint Howard

Jean Frances Speegle Howard (January 31, 1927 – September 2, 2000) was an American actress who acted primarily in film and on television. Howard made appearances in over 30 television shows, mostly sitcoms, such as Married... with Children (1994–1996), but she also had guest spots on such series as Grace Under Fire (1993) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) beginning from 1975 (mostly from during the 1980s and 1990s) until her death.

Life and career

Howard was born Jean Frances Speegle in Duncan, Oklahoma, the daughter of Louise (née Dewey) and William Allen Speegle. She married actor Rance Howard, also from Duncan, in 1949. Their sons are actor/director Ron Howard and actor/director Clint Howard. She was also the grandmother of actresses Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard.

She starred in the 1996 film Matilda as the librarian, Mrs. Phelps. In a 1995 episode of Roseanne, Howard appeared as an elderly neighbor who prefers to be nude while in her own home, much to the chagrin of Dan and Roseanne, who often see from their own bedroom window. Howard also starred in Two of a Kind alongside Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. One of her last on-camera speaking roles, Howard portrayed astronaut Jim Lovell's mother in the 1995 motion picture Apollo 13. When circumstances appear bleak for the crew, Howard's character says confidently, "If they could get a washing machine to fly, my Jimmy could land it."

In the 1986 Christmas film A Smoky Mountain Christmas, Howard appears alongside her husband as Old Lady Jezebel and Dr. Jennings, respectively.

On September 2, 2000, Howard died in Los Angeles, California of heart and respiratory illness. She was 73 years old. The 2000 film How the Grinch Stole Christmas, directed by her son Ron, and featuring her son Clint (as "Whobris"), her husband Rance (as the "Elderly Timekeeper") and her granddaughter Bryce (as the "Surprised Who"), includes a dedication to her at the beginning of the end credits, saying that she was "who loved Christmas the most." She is buried in Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery.



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Scrooged Mrs Claus
1995 Apollo 13 Blanch Lovell
1996 Matilda Miss Phelps


Year Title Role Notes
1993-96 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Bertha Emory / Elderly spectator 2 episodes
1995 Roseanne Elderly Nudist Neighbor Episode: Rear Window
1997 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Real Natalie French Episode: Teacher's Pet
1997-98 Fired Up Mrs Morton 3 episodes


External links

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