She is an Emmy-winning American actress and Oscar nominee.
She was born May 3, 1889 in Valparaiso (Indiana, USA) to Ava (née Marble) and Adolph Blondie.
She began her acting career at the age of seven, appearing in the play The Little Lord Fauntelroy at the Memorial Opera House in her hometown of Valparaiso. In 1918 she graduated from Valparaiso University with a bachelor's degree and a master of public speaking.
Her film debut was in the 1931 film Street Scene. In 1936, Bela became one of the first five actresses to be nominated for a new Academy Award category, Best Supporting Actress, for The Magnificent Woman of Light. Two years later she was nominated in this category again for For Human Hearts.
In movies, Bela most often played the mothers of the main characters. So, for example, the mother of James Stewart, she played in four films: "This Wonderful Life", "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", "For human hearts" and "Lively Lady".
Her last screen appearance was as Martha Corinne Walton in the television series "The Waltons," in which she appeared in two episodes, in 1974 and 1976. For this role, she won an Emmy Award for Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series in 1977.
Although Bela often played mothers, she was never married and had no children. Bela Bondi died on January 11, 1981, in Los Angeles of pulmonary complications after she fell after tripping over her cat and breaking her ribs.