She was in Brooklyn, New York born. She played 50 years theatre. They started in a choir and became known as singer and Broadwaystar. In the 20s and 30s, she played large roles in musicals in London and New York. By her theatre work she played in not so many movies with it, but they did have the occasional small role.
From 1949 to 1957 , she played matriarch Marta Hansen, Mama, in the popular CBStelevision series Mama, based on the film I Remember Mama. When the series stopped came so much protest that the CBS program sent back on Sunday afternoon, there was created.
She received several awards for her theater work and was for a time President of the American National Theatre and Academy.
She married twice and was twice widowed. Her first husband, poet/writer John v. a. Weaver, died at the age of 44 to tuberculosis and her second husband, William Walling, died in 1973 after 32 years of marriage. Wood himself died in 1978 to a brain hemorrhage.