Do you remember the creepy old mama Fratelli in “The Goonies”? This was Anne Ramsey, whose performance was so strong it actually frightened her teammates. After a life of entertainment, she made famous her role in the film. She played the eponymous momma in Danny DeVito’s “Throw Momma From the Train”.
In both films, however, Ramsey struggled per film stories. During the set of “Goonies” she had to work hard to ignore a chronic sore throat and a lump she discovered. Shortly after the film was completed, she was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery, which resulted in shoulder pain, slurred speech, and light, uncontrollable drooling.
She tossed everything she had into her performance “Throw Momma From the Train” (including her new disabilities) and received a 1987 Oscars nomination for Best Supporting Actress. “When I got home from the hospital, I was so grateful to be alive,” she told People Magazine. “And I’ve always prayed to be recognized. But I never thought it would come at a point in my life like this. “
Ramsey made several other films, including “Scrooged” with Bill Murray in 1988 before succumbing to cancer that same year at the age of 59, a late-blooming talent that was lost far too soon.