Celebrate Grandparents Day: Top 15 Grandmas and Grandpas in the Movies

Grandpa Joe from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is possibly the best grandpa on film ever!

In celebration of grandparents this week (and all that they do for us!), here’s an awesome roundup of the top 15 grandmas and grandpas on film. From super silly to the strong and mighty, from the Madea movies to Happy Gilmore to Little Miss Sunshine, these grandparents make us laugh, love, think, and cry.

Which famous grandmother or grandfather would you add?

  • Grandma Gilmore 1 of 15
    In Happy Gilmore, Happy will do anything for his grandmother (and he does) when Granda Gilmore is evicted from her home. Aside from the ridiculous comedy, there's nothing like this grandmother-grandson relationship!
  • Madea 2 of 15
    Tyler Perry's creation from the many "Madea movies" is the unstoppable grandmother who doesn't know what being politically correct is and always tells the truth. Halleluyar.
  • Whale Rider 3 of 15
    Pai breaks traditional barriers and finds amazing lessons in love and family along the way as she is raised and shaped by both of her grandparents.
  • Gammy 4 of 15
    Everyone wishes The Proposal's Gammy (and well, let's face it, Betty White herself!) was their grandmother!
  • Royal Tenenbaum 5 of 15
    Royal regrets the many years that has come between him and his family and tries to win their affections back, with some exciting (and illegal, yes) shenanigans of finally being involved in his grandsons' lives. (And don't forget he later eventfully saves their lives!) - The Royal Tenenbaums
  • Rose Dawson 6 of 15
    Rose survived the sinking of the Titanic and takes her granddaughter and a team of sea explorers on a journey of what happened leading up to that fateful night, and of her life's love and loss. -Titanic
  • Frank Buckman 7 of 15
    Frank (played by Jason Robards) is a good dad and grandfather, giving out generous helpings of second chances, including taking in a grandson he never knew he had, and caring for him like he is his own child. -Parenthood
  • Grandma from Parenthood 8 of 15
    Grandma's insight and charm warms every heart and comes with a heavy dose of hope and wisdom. Her memory of riding a roller coaster for the first time and how it relates directly to life is one I'll never forget, especially as a parent.
  • Ella Hirsh 9 of 15
    Ella (played by Shirley MacLaine) is estranged from her granddaughters but is excited to be reunited and works to bring the two sisters close again. -In Her Shoes
  • Cocoon 10 of 15
    Yes, it's an 80's sci-fi flick, but truly an emotional tale. A grandson realizes he may be losing his grandparents and sets on to rescue them while facing a sad goodbye.
  • Heidi 11 of 15
    Heidi breaks through her bitter grandfather's heart and gives him the love that he needed to see life more clearly.
  • Grandpa Edwin 12 of 15
    If you can look beyond Grandpa Edwin being a drug addict and ringmaster to the dysfunction in the family, you will see he loved his granddaughter, taught her that hilarious pageant dance, and was much loved by his family as well.- Little Miss Sunshine
  • The Princess Bride 13 of 15
    Peter Falk tells the tale of Westley and Buttercup to his sick grandson. If it weren't for him, we would never know everyone's favorite story! (Anybody want a peanut?)
  • Aurora Greenway 14 of 15
    The mother-daughter relationship between Aurora Greenway and her child is seen over 30 years in this tissues-required film. Aurora finds herself caring for her dying daughter's children and giving them the love they need. - Terms of Endearment
  • Grandpa Joe 15 of 15
    I'm certain most would agree that Grandpa Joe is possibly THE most amazing grandfather of all movie-time. He never let his grandson Charlie stop dreaming. - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

hat tip Amy Windsor


Check out Babble’s 10 Favorite Celeb Grandparents!

Article Posted 7 years Ago

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