Sean Penn’s mother Eileen Ryan, TV and film actor dies aged 94

Actress,Eileen Ryan - Imahe Feature Flash Photography /

The TV and film actor Eileen Ryan has died at the age of 94

Ryan’s death was announced today Tuesday, October 11 in a tweet by her son Sean Penn who said “We lost mom yesterday.”

More recently known as the mother of actors Sean and Christopher Penn, and of musician Michael Penn, Ryan died at her home in Malibu, California.

Ryan would’ve turned 95 this coming Sunday had she survived.

An accomplished actor in her own right, Ryan began her career back in the 1950s with two Broadway roles, “Sing Till Tomorrow” in 1953 and “Comes a Day” in 1958.

Rehearsing for the “Iceman Cometh” in 1957 she met Leo Penn who had taken over for Jason Robards at the Circle in the Square production.

Ryan and Penn had a whirlwind romance moving in together within a week of the meeting. They married a few months later, but sadly Leo died in 1998.

Among her many TV credits are appearances on: “Private Practice,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Bonanza,” “The Detectives,” “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.”

She also acted in a number of movies including “Parenthood,” and “Benny & Joon,” as well as starring alongside her sons in “At Close Range,” “I Am Sam,” “The Indian Runner” and “The Crossing Guard.”

Sean Penn has already expressed his sadness at the loss of his mother and TV and film actor, as will those who enjoyed her in one of the many roles she played.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at