Nora Murphy-Gribble is the mother of Frank and Eileen Murphy, and paternal grandmother of Frank’s children, Kevin, Bill, Maureen and Megan Murphy. Nora is also the ex-wife of William Murphy, having been married to him for about twenty years before divorcing. Nora is also the wife of Earl Gribble
She is voiced by American actress and singer, Patti Lupone.
Nora was born in 1907. In 1933, while in her mid 20s, Nora married William Murphy. Their son, Francis Xavier “Frank” Murphy was born in 1935, and their daughter Eileen Murphy was born four years later in 1939.
Eileen’s marriage and home life was a miserable one, because although William was very charming to the neighbors and general public, he was abusive at home.
During one dinner, William was talking about how Jack O’Connor said that he could sell snowballs to an Eskimo, and Nora, taking the saying literally, questions the logic. This annoys William who explains that Jack was telling him he was a good salesmen, and asks if it would kill Nora to say “Attaboy”, which she says. Nora proceeds to sit in silence as her children continue eating their ice cream. Nora remains silent when William yells at Frank, pushes his ice cream into his face, and threatens to put him down a well for spilling his juice, and he yells at Eileen for taking the expression literally.
Sometime later, Nora attends Frank’s school play with William, where she watches William make fun of Frank, causing the audience to laugh. Nora eventually covers her face in embarrassment as William continues piling on which eventually makes Frank cry.
After the play, Nora watches as William chastises Frank for crying, and when Nora tries to stand up for him, William tells her to “Shut up”. She says nothing as William makes Frank walk home while they ride home in the car behind him.
Years later, in the early 1950s when Frank was a teenager, Nora walked in on William beating Frank with a crutch. Nora intervenes by snatching the crutch from him which causes William to stumble and slip on a model airplane. According to Frank, this is when Nora lost respect for William. She divorces him soon after, and after William moves out, it could be assumed that she didn’t see him again.
Neither Nora or Eileen attended Frank and Sue’s wedding in 1958.
At some point, Nora and Eileen moved to Oxnard, California which is where they currently reside together, along with a man named Earl, Nora's current husband.
Years later in 1974, Frank called Nora to tell her that William died, after which she danced a celebratory jig and went to sleep. Three weeks later, in Blind Alley, Frank calls her, having gone through “box 16”, wanting to know if any of the objects in the box had meaning.
Throughout the conversation, Nora tries to get Frank to stop thinking of the past, telling him William couldn’t hurt him anymore. When trying to change the subject, Frank asks why Nora didn’t intervene and stop William from doing the other things he did. Nora, unable to answer the question, makes up an excuse about a cat that she doesn’t have before hanging up.
On Thanksgiving, Nora, Eileen and Earl are seen eating together.
In A Very Merry F***ing Christmas, Nora and Eileen go to a Christmas party on Christmas Eve at Frank’s house. Nora complements Frank by saying that the party is fun and he has nice friends, but accidentally insults him when he calls his house tiny. Eileen tells Nora not to insult the size of Frank’s house because of the size of her own house. Nora comments that it would be roomier if Eileen ever got married and moved out, which ignites an argument between the two.
A few hours later, Frank has to leave to meet Buster Thunder at the airport. This starts an argument between him and Nora where she compares Frank to William, saying that William used to leave home on Christmas as well because he was “an important man”. The two continue arguing, and before Frank leaves, Nora asks if Frank is really going to leave his kids on the “third holiest night of the year“, and after his kids insist that they don’t care, Frank walks out.
- By the time Nora got married, she would’ve been 25 or 26 years old
- If Nora was still alive she would be 114 years old by the end of 2021. Realistically however, Nora would’ve died before that age
- In William's obituary that was shown in The Mahogany Fortress, Nora's name is written as Nora Murphy-Gribble. She married Earl Gribble some point after divorcing William Murphy confirmed by the F is For Family Writers. https://twitter.com/FIFFNetflix/status/1466910215052611587