Nominated for both Emmy and Tony Awards, she was a vaudeville, stage, motion picture, and television actress of the 1920s thru 1960s who gained international fame while playing the role of ‘Granny’ on the 1960s TV series ‘The Beverly Hillbillies.’ Irene died in 1973, in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 70, several days following a stroke suffered during a performance of the musical Pippin on Broadway, after which she was flown back to California. She had been diagnosed with a brain tumor some time previously, but reportedly was never made aware of it, although her friend and fellow Beverly Hillbillies cast member, Nancy Kulp, tried to persuade her not to go to New York for the musical. Pallbearers at her funeral included Hillbillies co-stars Buddy Ebsen and Max Baer, Jr., along with Beverly Hillbillies creator Paul Henning. Donna Douglas and others associated with the series also attended the funeral. Her body was interred into a mausoleum crypt at the Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery in Santa Monica, California.