As elucidated by the title of her 1954 autobiography You Won't Be So Pretty, Jesse Royce Landis concluded early on that she was not the ingenue type. Landis became a character actress, thereby outlasting many of her more attractive contemporaries. A solitary film appearance in 1930's Derelict convinced Landis that the stage would remain her forte. She would not appear onscreen on a regular basis until 1949, and then only when her theatrical schedule permitted it. Most often playing outspoken society matrons, Landis was amusingly cast in maternal roles in two Hitchcock films, To Catch a Thief (1955) and North By Northwest (1959); in the latter, she portrayed the mother of Cary Grant, who was exactly the same age as she. Jesse Royce Landis' final appearance was in the made-for-television Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones (1971).