American character actress Janet Beecher spent much of her film career as everybody's mother. After three decades on stage, Beecher made her first film, Gallant Lady, in 1934. Because of her handsome features, matronly demeanor and naturalistic acting style, Ms. Beecher was ideally cast as firm but compassionate matriarchs; one of her best screen assignments was as Tyrone Power's mother in Mark of Zorro (1940), never wavering in her belief of her son's fortitude despite his (apparently) foppish manners. Even when appearing as the First Lady in the political drama The President Vanishes, Beecher was spiritually the "mother" of her country. Undoubtedly Janet Beecher felt straitjacketed by the roles offered her in Hollywood; she retired in 1943, after only ten years before the cameras.