Gretchen Knauff: Untold Details On Jennifer Coolidge’s Late Mother

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  • Post last modified:April 3, 2023
Gretchen Knauff: Untold Details On Jennifer Coolidge’s Late Mother
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Gretchen Knauff is the late mother of an American actress Jennifer Coolidge. Her daughter is a critically acclaimed actress best known for her character in the 1999 movie American Pie and the HBO anthology series The White Lotus.

To date, not many details about Gretchen have been known in the media the fact that she died years before her daughter gained recognition as an actress. It’s been many years since the celebrity mother left the living world. Well, when and how did she die?

Here in this article, find out the reason behind Gretchen Knauff’s death. In addition, we also have done our best to explore her life in detail so, stay tuned with us.

Gretchen Knauff Is The Mother Of Jennifer Coolidge; Her Early Life

As mentioned above, Gretchen is Jennifer Coolidge’s mother. She is just in the spotlight as a celebrity mother, so detail regarding her early life is barely known in the media.

However, she was born to her father Paul August Knauff, and her mother Mildred Ann Adkisson in the United States of America. Though her life has been a mystery to the world, we believed that she had a decent childhood with her parents in her hometown. As of now, it’s been three decades since she died.

Besides, as per nationality, Gretchen Knauff was American by birth.

Gretchen’s Ancestry

Her paternal grandparents Henry Kauf and Frederica Marie Maulfinge were Wisconsin residents but were of German nationality. Her granddad Henry was the son of John J. Knauff and Elizabeth Schmidt. Her grandmother Frederica was born to Georg Henry Mulfinger and Rosine Marie Hermann.

Likewise, her maternal grandfather William Frank Adkisson was a son of Joseph Newton Adkisson and Cassey A. Harding. Similarly, her grandmom Margaret Ann Portlock was born to Samuel Vince Portlock and Nancy I. Frizell.

What Did Gretchen Knauff Do For A Living?

As for her career, it seems like she was never involved in any profession. Instead, she was a homemaker.

Though the mother wasn’t a career-oriented woman, her daughter Jennifer gained worldwide recognition as a Hollywood actress. Her entertainment career began with a big break in the episode “The Masseuse” of the American sitcom Seinfeld created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld.

Grenchen Knauff was a homemaker
Grenchen Knauff’s actress daughter.

Knauff’s daughter then did several small roles in movies like A Night at the Roxbury, A Bucket of Blood, and Plump Fiction. But, she gained recognition as an actress after she appeared as Stifler’s mom in the 1999 movie American Pie. As of now, she has played in several movies and series like Testosterone, American Wedding, Data Movie, Soul Men, Men in White, Epic Movie, and many others.

Lately, Jennifer acted in the HBO anthology series The White Lotus for which she was critically acclaimed worldwide for her performance as an insecure rich woman Tanya McQuoid. For this, she was also honored with a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award.

Gretchen Knauff was Married To Her Husband Paul Constant Coolidge

Gretchen was the wife of the Massachusetts native Paul Constant Coolidge. The information about their marriage date is not exposed in the media yet. But, as per our assumptions, they must have married around the late 40s and early 50s.

The couple had a beautiful married life. In fact, her husband had a lot of respect for her. In an exclusive talk with Vulture, her popular daughter Jennifer revealed her parent’s relationship. She said,

“My father really worshipped my mother, “How did she get that? He really thought she was the most incredible person that ever lived on this planet.”

From their marriage, they became the parents of four beautiful children together. Gretchen and her spouse Paul’s nuptial lasted till the last breath of Knauff.

Short Bio On Her Husband, Paul Constant Coolidge

Gretchen’s husband Paul was born in 1921 in Massachusetts, USA. His parents were John Templeman Coolidge IV and Susannah Cunningham. After he grew up, he completed his undergrad degree from Harvard University and then joined the US navy.

In the four years of his career in the armed forces, Coolidge initially served as a deck officer in the pacific theatre and then was discharged as a lieutenant. Later, he started a plastic business and founded two companies to manufacture and sell synthetic raisins. As of now, Knauff’s beloved partner has also left the living world. He died at the age of 92 in July 2015.

Gretchen Knauff Shared Four Children With Her Husband

As aforementioned, Gretchen and her spouse together became parents of four. Among four, three are daughters Elizabeth Coolidge, Susannah Coolidge, and Jennifer Coolidge. One of her son is Andrew Coolidge.

Gretchen Knauff is a mother of four children
Gretchen Knauff’s daughter Jennifer.

As we all know, Jennifer,61 is a well-known actress who was born on August 28, 1961, in Norwell, Massachusetts. To date, there is no news of Jennifer’s marriage besides some rumors of her relationship with several artists. Further, her other daughter Susannah works as a manager at World Trade Centre in New Orleans and is married to her husband Fred Diegel.

In the same way, her son Andrew is a resident of Norwell and is happily married to his wife Elizabeth. Out of four, her daughter Elizabeth has an incredibly private life so not a single piece of information about her is known so far.

Gretchen Knauff Died Shortly After Her Daughter’s Big Break In Hollywood; What Was The Cause?

Gretchen died of pancreatic cancer in the year 1994, a year after her daughter Jennifer’s appearance in America’s most loved show Seinfeld. As per her actress child, during her last days, more than the pain, she was amazed by her daughter’s entry into Hollywood.

Before dying, she expressed her emotions regarding Jenifer’s acting career. About this The White Lotus actress said,

“My mother’s last words to me were, like, ‘I can’t believe it,””But she was thrilled because she didn’t think anything was going to happen.”

Gretchen Knauff Grave And Obituary

Till today, her grave and where her obituary was published are not known. After her death, her body must have been buried in a cemetery in their native place in Massachusetts, USA.

Anuja Uprety

Anuja Uprety is a professional writer at She is a fashion enthusiast and followers Hollywood trends pretty closely. As an expert in the field for years, her research skills and approach to presenting articles are incredible. Contact her at: