Top 25 Memorable Grandparents in Television and Movie

“Grandparents create memories that the heart holds forever.”- Author Unknown

In honor of Grandparent’s Day this week, we decided to put together a list of our top 25 favorite senior grandparents in movie and television history that have left memorable impressions in our hearts and pop culture community.

1. Grandpa Joe, Willy Wonka And the Chocolate Factory (1971)

grandpa joe willy wonka chocolate factory

Welcome the world of “pure imagination” and endless amounts of chocolate! This classic movie follows the fascinating journey of Grandpa Joe and his grandson Charlie as they explore the land of Wily Wonka.

2. Grandfather, The Princess Bride (1987)

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A timeless bedtime story filled with princess’, giants, true love and heroes. A doting grandfather (Peter Faulk) shares this treasured story with his sick grandson in hopes to cheer him up and recover quickly.

3. Sophia Petrillo, Golden Girls (1985-1992)

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The character Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) in Golden Girls, is one of the most hilarious ladies in television history. This iconic golden girl is mostly known for her wisecracks, cheeky remarks and straight-forward attitude when dealing with her family and friends. Despite her bold attitude, she deeply loves and cares for her family.

4. Russel and Anna Huxtable, The Crosby Show (1984-1992)

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Russel and Anna Huxtable are the lovable and respected grandparents in the outstanding TV sitcom series, The Crosby Show. Both were civil rights activists who loved to share stories from their younger days and encourage their grandchildren to make good in the world they live in.

5. Frank and Marie Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond (1996-2005)

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In the American sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frank (Peter Boyle) and Marie Barone (Doris Roberts) live right down the street from their son and his family. As Ray’s parents live out their retirement, they can’t help but come off as obnoxious and meddle in their son’s family affairs every chance they get.

6. Grandpa Munster, The Munsters (1964-1966)

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Grandpa Munster (AL Lewis) played a sarcastic yet charming father of Lily Munster in the timeless television series, The Munsters. You can find this undead vampire hanging around the family basement, cooking up special magic for him and his family.

7. Frank, Parenthood (1989)

Frank, Parenthood

A movie about a dysfunctional Midwestern family that embarks the everyday challenges of balancing home and work life. The storyline follows Gil, a workaholic who is fearful of turning out like his father Frank (Jason Robards). As news breaks that his wife is pregnant with their fourth child, Gill leans on his father Frank for guidance and possible reconciliation for the two.

8. Grandparents, Cocoon (1985)

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When a suspicious alien cocoon lays its nest into a senior community pool, a set of grandparents are left to make a life altering decision; whether to go with the aliens or leave their beloved grandchildren behind.

9. Koro, Whale Rider (2002)

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The Whale Rider is an enchanting story about acceptance between grandfather and granddaughter. While grandfather Koro (Rawiri Paratene) is at odds with his young granddaughter, she goes to great lengths to prove her true destiny in hopes of gaining approval by him.

10. Endora, Bewitched (1964-1972)

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Taking us back to the enchanting television show Bewitched, Endora (Agnes Moorhead), is the flamboyant witch mother of Samantha Stephens. Endora refuses to embrace the mortal life her daughter has chosen for her and her family and finds all sorts of wicked ways to bring magic in the house despite Samantha’s wishes.

11. Grandpa Edwin, Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

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A light-hearted comedy about a strong bond between Grandpa Edwin and his granddaughter Olive. Grandpa Edwin and the family go on a long road trip across the states so that they can see Olive’s dream play out in hopes to win a beauty pageant.

12. Madea (2005)

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Tyler Perry’s, the Madea movie franchise centers our attention around a candid grandmother who will speak her mind and have no shame in her opinion, whether you like it or not. A definite laugh out loud comedy for the whole family.

13. Aurora Greenway, Terms of Endearment (1983)

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This heart wrenching movie centers around a mother-daughter relationship in a span of 30 years. Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine) plays both mother and grandmother to her dying daughter’s children.

14. Rose Dawson, Titanic (1997)

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Rose Dawson survived the sinking of the Titanic and flashes back to her days on the ship. She goes on a journey with her granddaughter and a set of sea explorers to uncover the wreckage, treasures and memories left behind from that horrible day.

15. Jay Pritchett, Modern Family (2009- )

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Jay Pritchett played by Ed O’Neill, is the patriarch of the Pritchett family in the hysterical TV show, Modern Family. On the outside, he may seem like the rigid war veteran exhibiting tough love, but in close sight he is an amazing grandfather no matter what crazy antics his family may get into.

16. Dowager Countess Violet Crawley, Downton Abbey (2010-20015)

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The Dowager Countess Violet Crawley, is as blunt as they come! She is featured on the British drama series, Downton Abbey. She speaks candidly and is never afraid to give her opinion, even if it’s not what her granddaughters want to hear.

17. Gammy, The Proposal (2009)

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Played by the beloved Betty White, Gammy is a straight-forward, “young at heart” individual who loves life and celebrates it as much as she can. Even if she’s about to turn 90, age doesn’t stop her from being who she is.

18. Emily and Richard Gilmore, Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)

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Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop) and Richard Gilmore (Edward Herrman) pride themselves in being wealthy and stay true to their values in the hit TV show, Gilmore Girls. When they’re not attending the latest fundraiser or country club gathering they spend time with their granddaughter Rory, as she makes her way into Ivy League school.

19. Al “Pops” Solomon, The Goldbergs (2013-)

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Al “Pops” Solomon, (George Segal) plays a Casanova-like grandfather who is beloved by his grandchildren. You can find Pops making home movies with his geeky grandson, Adam Goldberg, or giving love advice to his other grandchildren as they reach their teenage years in high school.

20. Ruby and Pops Johnson, Blackish (2014-)

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Ruby (Jennifer Lewis) and Pops Johnson (Lawernce Fishburne) are the straightforward grandparents in the hit TV series, Blackish. Despite their different opinions and views on life, they come together giving advice to every day issues the family may experience.

21. Ella, In Her Shoes (2005)

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A heartwarming drama about sisterhood and the bonds of family. An estranged grandmother, Ella (Shirley MacLaine), welcomes her troubled adult granddaughter into her home as they uncover family secrets and pursue reconciliation.

22. Grandma Gilmore, Happy Gilmore (1996)

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Sweet Grandma Gilmore (Frances Bay) is forced out of her home due to lack of funds on her mortgage. Happy Gilmore, her grandson, will do anything for her even if that means picking up the game of golf and entering himself in a tournament to win the grand prize and win back his grandma’s home.

23. Grandma Huang, Fresh Off the Boat (2015-)

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Grandma Huang (Lucille Soong) may not be able to speak English but that doesn’t mean she can’t keep up in conversation with her grandchildren. She’s willing to lend a hand anyway she wishes, even if that means helping her grandchildren play pranks on their neighborhood friends.

24. Grandma Elle, Grandma (2015)

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In the movie Grandma, Grandma Elle (Lily Tomlin) is not like your traditional grandmother. She marches to the beat of her own drum and does not believe in conventional grand parenting. No matter how bumpy life gets, she is always there for her granddaughter.

25. Royal, The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

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A distant grandfather named Royal (Gene Hackman), dislikes the way he handled family business in the past and wants to prove to himself and his family members that he has changed no matter how unusual his approach may be.