Eileen Ryan Dies: Actor, Mother Of Sean, Christopher & Michael Penn Was 94

Actor Eileen Ryan, the mother of actors Sean Penn and Christopher Penn and musician Michael Penn, died Sunday at her home in Malibu, just a week short of her 95th birthday.

Ryan, born Eileen Annucci, met fellow actor Leo Penn in 1957 at rehearsals for The Iceman Cometh, a Circle in the Square production (Leo Penn had taken over for Jason Robards). The two were married within a few months, a marriage that lasted 41 years until Leo Penn’s death in 1998.

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From her first TV appearance in 1955’s Goodyear Television Playhouse, Ryan had a steady and prolific acting career for decades, with guest roles on The Twilight Zone, Bonanza, The Detectives, Ben Casey, Marcus Welby, M.D., Little House on the Prairie, Arli$$, Ally McBeal, NYPD Blue, ER, CSI, Men of a Certain Age and Grey’s Anatomy, among many others. On the big screen, she appeared in films including Parenthood, At Close Range, Benny & Joon and various projects of her sons’ including At Close Range, I Am Sam, The Indian Runner and The Crossing Guard.

She appeared on Broadway in 1953’s Sing Till Tomorrow, and the short-lived Comes a Day in 1958.

Her death was announced by a spokesperson for the family. She was predeceased by son Christopher Penn in 2006.

Additional information, including a cause of death, was not immediately available.

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