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Eileen Ryan, Veteran Actress & Sean Penn's Mother, Dead at 94

Ryan passed away a week before her 95th birthday.
  • Eileen Ryan. (Photo: Everett Collection)
    Eileen Ryan. (Photo: Everett Collection)

    Eileen Ryan, prolific performer and mother to actors Sean and Christopher Penn and musician Michael Penn, has passed away at 94. 

    The veteran actress died on Sunday, October 9, a week before her 95th birthday. Born October 16, 1927, the actress got her start on TV in 1955 when she appeared in Goodyear Television Playhouse. She would go on to appear in a number of hit TV shows, including The Twilight Zone, Bonanza, Matlock, ER, Little House on the Prairie, Ally McBeal, Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy, CSI, Without a Trace, and NYPD Blue

    In addition to her lengthy list of television credits, Ryan also starred in films including MagnoliaEight Legged FreaksFeast, and I Am Sam

    Michael Penn took to Twitter to share the news Monday, writing "we lost mom yesterday". 

    Ryan was married to Leo Penn for 41 years until his passing in 1998. Chris Penn, the youngest of the couple's three sons and star of films like Resevoir Dogs, passed away in 2006 at the age of 40. 

    Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. She was previously a reporter/producer at Decider and is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.

    TOPICS: Obits, Grey's Anatomy, Eileen Ryan, Sean Penn