Isabel Sanford (1917–2004)

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Isabel Sanford was a Broadway actress for over thirty years before moving to Hollywood. She made numerous guest appearances on TV, including a stint as a supporting cast member on The Carol Burnett Show (1967). Until her passing, Isabel continued to act frequently, most recently in a series of commercials for Old Navy stores with The Jeffersons (... See full bio »

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »


Known For

The Jeffersons Louise Jefferson


Hide Hide Show Show Actress (61 credits)
 2004 The Simpsons (TV Series)
Isabel Sanford
- Milhouse Doesn't Live Here Anymore (2004) ... Isabel Sanford (voice)
 2002 The Young and the Restless (TV Series)
- Episode #1.7534 (2002) ... Sylvia
 2001 The Parkers (TV Series)
Evelyn 'Nana' Smith
- Hands Off, Grandma (2001) ... Evelyn 'Nana' Smith
 2000 Click Three Times (Short)
 1999 Jackie's Back! (TV Movie)
Miss Krumes (Jackie's Play Mama)
 1998 Pepper Ann (TV Series)
- Cocoon Gables/Green-Eyed Monster (1998) ... Bernice (voice)
 1998 Mafia!
Mrs. Louise Jefferson (uncredited)
 1998 Disney's Math Quest with Aladdin (Video Game)
 1997 Teen Angel (TV Series)
- Sings Like an Angel (1997) ... Laurie
 1997 Sprung
Sista #1
 1996 The Steve Harvey Show (TV Series)
Mother Hightower
- That's My Mama (1996) ... Mother Hightower
 1995-1996 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (TV Series)
Louise Jefferson
- I, Done: Part 2 (1996) ... Louise Jefferson
- Will Is from Mars... (1995) ... Louise Jefferson
 1996 Original Gangstas
Gracie Bookman
 1996 Cybill (TV Series)
Isabel Sanford
- Romancing the Crone (1996) ... Isabel Sanford (uncredited)
 1995 In the House (TV Series)
- Christmas Story (1995) ... Nanna
- Nanna Don't Play (1995) ... Nanna
 1994 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (TV Series)
Margaret Duffy
- Season's Greedings (1994) ... Margaret Duffy
 1994 Hangin' with Mr. Cooper (TV Series)
- The Courtship of Mark Cooper (1994) ... Judge
 1993 Living Single (TV Series)
Mrs. Ryan
- Quittin' Time (1993) ... Mrs. Ryan
 1993 South Beach
 1993 Dream On (TV Series)
Judge Isabel Kohner
- Oral Sex, Lies and Videotape (1993) ... Judge Isabel Kohner
 1992 Hearts Are Wild (TV Series)
Aunt Dee
- Coming Home (1992) ... Aunt Dee
 1988 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo (TV Series)
Shirley McLoon
- A Bicycle Built for Boo! (1988) ... Shirley McLoon (voice)
 1987 Isabel's Honeymoon Hotel (TV Series)
Isabel Scott
 1986 The New Mike Hammer (TV Series)
Hot Mama Vibes
- Harlem Nocturne (1986) ... Hot Mama Vibes
 1986 You Are the Jury (TV Series)
Judge Elizabeth Robbins
- The State of Ohio vs. James Wolsky (1986) ... Judge Elizabeth Robbins
 1986 Crazy Like a Fox (TV Series)
- The Duke Is Dead (1986)
 1975-1985 The Jeffersons (TV Series)
Louise Jefferson
- Red Robins (1985) ... Louise Jefferson
- Off-Off-Off-Off Broadway (1985) ... Louise Jefferson
- The Odd Couple (1985) ... Louise Jefferson
- The Truth Hurts (1985) ... Louise Jefferson
- And Up We Go (1985) ... Louise Jefferson
 1980-1983 The Love Boat (TV Series)
Tanya Evans / Tanya, Isaac's Aunt
 1980 Steigler and Steigler
Dottie Butz
 1979 Love at First Bite
 1979 Supertrain (TV Series)
Reba Beeson
- Pirouette (1979) ... Reba Beeson
 1971-1979 All in the Family (TV Series)
Louise Jefferson / Mrs. Jefferson / Louise
- The Family Next Door (1979) ... Louise Jefferson
- The Jeffersons Move on Up (1975) ... Louise Jefferson
- Archie's Contract (1974) ... Louise Jefferson
- George and Archie Make a Deal (1974) ... Louise Jefferson
- The Longest Kiss (1974) ... Louise Jefferson
 1978 Vega$ (TV Series)
- Milliken's Stash (1978) ... Mae
 1975 Dean's Place (TV Special)
Tailor's Wife
 1974 The Photographer
Mrs. Slade
 1974 Kojak (TV Series)
- Die Before They Wake (1974) ... Grace
 1973 The New Temperatures Rising Show (TV Series)
Mrs. Noland
- The Mothers (1973) ... Mrs. Noland
 1968-1973 The Carol Burnett Show (TV Series)
Maid / Beulah, a King Sister / Minerva / ...
- William Conrad and Peggy Lee (1973) ... Maid
- Merv Griffin and Andy Griffith (1969) ... Beulah, a King Sister
- Eileen Farrell, Bob Hope, and Marilyn Horne (1968) ... Minerva / Self (uncredited)
- Durward Kirby and Garry Moore (1968) ... Blondie (uncredited)
- Edie Adams and Tim Conway (1968) ... Maid
 1973 The Fuzz Brothers (TV Movie)
 1972 Up the Sandbox
 1972 Pete 'n' Tillie
Maid (uncredited)
 1971-1972 Love, American Style (TV Series)
Mother of the Bride (segment "Love and the Perfect Wedding") / Mrs. Jones (segment "Love and the Baby")
- Love and the Clinic/Love and the Perfect Wedding/Love and the President/Love and the Return of Raymond (1972) ... Mother of the Bride (segment "Love and the Perfect Wedding")
 1972 Lady Sings the Blues
The Madame
 1972 Wait Till Your Father Gets Home (TV Series)
- Help Wanted (1972) ... Betsy (voice)
 1972 Hickey & Boggs
Nyona's Mother
 1972 The New Centurions
 1972 Every Little Crook and Nanny
Prospective Nanny #1 (uncredited)
 1972 Stand Up and Be Counted
Beverly (uncredited)
 1972 The Great Man's Whiskers (TV Movie)
 1972 The Mary Tyler Moore Show (TV Series)
Mrs. Wilson
- His Two Right Arms (1972) ... Mrs. Wilson
 1971 The Interns (TV Series)
Dr. Hearn
- The Choice (1971) ... Dr. Hearn
 1970-1971 The Bill Cosby Show (TV Series)
Aunt Bertha
- The Barber Shop (1971) ... Aunt Bertha (as Isabell Sanford)
- The Lincoln Letter (1970) ... Aunt Bertha
 1970 The Red, White, and Black
Isabel Taylor
 1970 Daniel Boone (TV Series)
- Sunshine Patriots (1970) ... Maybelle
 1969 The Comic
Woman in Detergent Commercial (as Isabell Sanford)
 1969 Pendulum
Effie (as Isabell Sanford)
 1968 Mod Squad (TV Series)
- Love (1968) ... Lillian (as Isabell Sanford)
 1968 Bewitched (TV Series)
Aunt Jenny
- Samantha Goes South for a Spell (1968) ... Aunt Jenny (as Isabell Sanford)
 1968 The Young Runaways
Sarah (as Isabell Sanford)
 1967 Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Tillie (as Isabell Sanford)
Show Show Soundtrack (3 credits)
Show Show Self (66 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (12 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

TV commercial (voice) for Lucky Dog Long Distance. See more »

Publicity Listings:

11 Articles | 1 Magazine Cover Photo | See more »

Alternate Names:

Isabell Sanford


5' 3" (1.6 m)


William Edward (Sonny) Richmond  (his death)  (3 children)


Sanford K. Sanford | See more »


Josephine Perry Sanford | James Edward Sanford


Dorothy Butts (cousin)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

In 1996, she said: I watched the first episode of that, and I didn't like it. I didn't like the background. I didn't like the way they dressed. I didn't like the way Archie Bunker talked about black people. But I decided to watch the next episode anyway to see if I could determine why they would allow this trash to be on the air, and I found myself falling down laughing. See more »


She is referenced in the Will Smith song "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It". See more »


Her distinct, gravelly voice.

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