Remembered for her stern character roles in numerous films of the 1930s and '40s, she is particularly notable for her performances in She-Wolf of London (1946), I Married a Witch (1942), and The Little Princess (1939).
Early in her career, she played the role of Evalina in the 1934 feature The Little Minister.
She was in the cast of the highly successful David O. Selznick movie Little Lord Fauntleroy.
The daughter of actress Agnes Thomas, she was born Eily Sophie Lees-Craston in London, England.
She played Mrs. Carmody opposite Bing Crosby's Father Chuck O'Malley in the 1944 film Going My Way.