Eileen Ryan is dead. She was in Little House on the Prairie and was Sean Penn's mother.

A representative for Eileen Ryan confirmed her death at home in Malibu. 

The veteran actress died on Sunday, just days before her 95th birthday, at the age of 94. 

She was best known for her roles on Little House on the Prairie and Bonanza, and she was also the mother of musician Michael Penn, actor Sean Penn, 62, and the late actor Chris Penn, who died of heart disease at the age of 40 in 2006. 

Eileen married actor and director Leo Penn in 1957 and remained married to him until his death in 1998. Her first television appearance was in 1955, several years before she married, on the drama series Goodyear Television Playhouse. 

She had previously appeared on Broadway, making her stage debut in the 1953 production of Sing Till Tomorrow. 

After marrying Leo, she appeared in a number of projects on television that her husband worked on, including episodes of Cannon, Matlock, and Little House On The Prairie. 

He directed the 1988 film Judgment in Berlin, in which Eileen starred as Gerta X. 

Her acting career came to a halt when she became a full-time mother, but she later appeared in projects such as At Close Range in 1986. She portrayed the grandmother of the characters played by her real-life sons Sean and Christopher. 

She appeared in several other films with Sean, including The Indian Runner in 1991, The Crossing Guard in 1995, I Am Sam in 2001, and All The King's Men in 2006. 

Following her death, fans took to social media to express their condolences. "RIP actress Eileen Ryan," one Twitter user wrote. You may recognize her from The Twilight Zone marathons (that's how I remember her).


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