Famous Southern Grandmothers
June Carter Cash
Country music royalty, June Carter Cash was grandmother to five grandchildren. She left us countless classics, and every time we hear Ring of Fire, we think of her and her husband, Johnny.
This Thomasville, Georgia-born actress—who married actor Paul Newman and enjoyed a 50-year love story—is grandmother to two boys.
Dr. Betty Reese
Reese Witherspoon’s mom is a professor at Vanderbilt University and is a proud grandmother to Reese’s three children, Ava, Deacon, and Tennessee.
Mother to actress Carrie Fisher and grandmother to Billie Lourd, Debbie Reynolds gave us memorable performances in television and film until her death in 2016. Who can forget her star turn in Singin’ in the Rain?
Dr. Carolyn Williams
Dr. Carolyn Williams raised three sons, the oldest of which has put an indelible stamp on the music world. Pharrell Williams’ mom, a Virginia Beach native, spends time in Virginia and Miami with her three sons and her grandchildren (Pharrell; his wife, Helen; and oldest son, Rocket, recently welcomed triplets!).
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Mary Kathlene McCabe
As actor Matthew McConaughey’s mom, Mary Kathlene McCabe has lots to be proud of. This Texas lady has a heart of gold and is also grandmother to six grandchildren, including McConaughey and Camila Alves’ three kids.
Also known as Beyoncé’s mom, Tina Knowles is a businesswoman and fashion designer. Born in Galveston, Texas, she is now grandmother to Beyoncé’s daughter, Blue Ivy, (and soon-to-be twins!) and Solange Knowles’ son, Daniel.
This actress, director, and writer from Meridian, Mississippi, co-starred in the HBO series Enlightened with one of her daughters, actress Laura Dern. Ladd is a proud grandmother to Dern’s two children, Ellery and Jaya.
Lynn Bomar Harless
Harless, a Tennessee native, has a famous son who she loves very much. You may have heard of him. His name is Justin Timberlake. Harless is a proud grandmother to Silas, Timberlake and Jessica Biel's son.
Nina Bruce Clooney
Nina Bruce (née Warren)hails from Mercer, Kentucky, and is mom to George Clooney and Adelia Clooney. She has two grandchildren already, with two on the way, as George Clooney and his wife, Amal, are expecting twins.
Sophia Petrillo from The Golden Girls
While Sophia Petrillo was a fictional grandmother brought to life by Estelle Getty, this character’s quippy one-liners ensure that she will continue to make us laugh as long as Golden Girls re-runs are on the air. Though she was a Brooklyn lady, we knew her when she lived in Miami, and we still claim her as ours.
Ninny Threadgoode from Fried Green Tomatoes
Played by Jessica Tandy in the 1991 film, Ninny Threadgoode passed on her wisdom and gave us such memorable quotes as “I found out what the secret to life is: friends. Best friends,” “A heart can be broken, but it will keep beating just the same,” and “All these people'll live as long as you remember 'em.”