Ruth Gordon

Highest Rated: 100% Where's Poppa? (1970)
Lowest Rated: 0% Maxie (1985)
Birthday: Oct 30, 1896
Birthplace: Quincy, Massachusetts, USA
The daughter of a former ship captain, Ruth Gordon knew what she wanted to do with her life after witnessing a performance by stage actress Hazel Dawn. Over the initial objections of her father, Gordon decided upon a stage career, studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After the usual deprivations and barnstorming (and a few extra roles in such films as Camille [1916]), she got her first positive newspaper notice for her Broadway debut in a 1915 production of Peter Pan. "Ruth Gordon was ever so gay as Nibs," wrote influential critic Alexander Woollcott, who became a valued and powerful friend to Gordon, and did what he could to encourage her and promote her career. With such stage hits as Seventeen, Serena Blandish, and Ethan Frome, Gordon was one of Broadway's biggest stars of the 1920s and '30s; privately, however, her life was blotted by the premature death of her first husband, actor Gregory Kelly. She remarried in 1942 to the brilliant playwright Garson Kanin, some 16 years her junior -- a union that lasted more than four decades.Combining stage work with appearances in such films as Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940) and Action in the North Atlantic (1943), Gordon began to collaborate with Kanin on writing projects, with such delightful results as the Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn comedies Adam's Rib (1949) and Pat and Mike (1952), as well as the Judy Holliday feature The Marrying Kind (1952). Long absent from movies, Gordon returned to the cameras for Inside Daisy Clover in 1966, before taking on the kinky role of an elderly witch in Rosemary's Baby (1968). Upon receiving an Oscar for her performance, the 72-year-old Gordon brought down the house by saying, "You have no idea how encouraging a thing like this can be." Although few of her subsequent film roles were as prestigious, Gordon managed to enter cult-film Valhalla with unforgettable roles in two films: Where's Poppa? (1970), in which she played the obscenely senile mother of George Segal, and Harold and Maude (1972), as the freewheeling soul mate of death-obsessed teen Bud Cort.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet Voyage of the Rock Aliens Sheriff 1987
No Score Yet Ten-Year Lunch: The Wit and Legend of the Algonquin Round Table Actor 1987
0% Maxie Mrs Lavin 1985
No Score Yet Mugsy's Girls Mugsy 1985
No Score Yet The Trouble with Spies Mrs. Arkwright 1984
No Score Yet Don't Go to Sleep Bernice 1982
No Score Yet Jimmy the Kid Bernice 1982
86% My Bodyguard Gramma 1980
20% Any Which Way You Can Ma 1980
No Score Yet Hardhat and Legs Screenwriter Actor 1980
No Score Yet Scavenger Hunt Arvilla Droll 1979
No Score Yet Boardwalk Actor 1979
37% Every Which Way But Loose Ma 1978
No Score Yet The Prince of Central Park Mrs. Miller 1977
No Score Yet Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby (Rosemary's Baby II) Minnie Castevet 1976
78% The Big Bus Old Lady 1976
No Score Yet The Great Houdini Cecilia Weiss 1976
84% Harold and Maude Maude 1971
100% Where's Poppa? Mrs. Hocheiser 1970
No Score Yet What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? Mrs. Dimmock 1969
99% Rosemary's Baby Minnie Castevet 1968
71% Lord Love a Duck Stella Barnard 1966
36% Inside Daisy Clover The Dealer - Mrs. Clover 1966
No Score Yet The Actress Screenwriter 1953
90% Pat and Mike Screenwriter 1952
67% The Marrying Kind Screenwriter 1952
100% Adam's Rib Screenwriter 1949
71% A Double Life Screenwriter 1947
No Score Yet The North Star (Armored Attack) Actor 1943
No Score Yet Action in the North Atlantic Mrs. Jarvis 1943
No Score Yet Edge of Darkness Anna Stensgard 1943
25% The Two-Faced Woman Miss Ellis 1941
80% Abe Lincoln in Illinois Mary Todd 1940
No Score Yet Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet Mrs. Heidi Ehrlich 1940

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet Newhart
1982-1990
Kirk's Grandmother
  • 1988
  • 1984
  • 1983
No Score Yet Taxi
1978-1983
Widow
  • 1979
No Score Yet Columbo
1968-2003
  • 1977
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
Host Guest
  • 1977
No Score Yet Kojak
1973-1978
Eudora Temple
  • 1975
No Score Yet Rhoda
1978
Carlton's Mother
  • 1975
No Score Yet The Flip Wilson Show
1970-1974
Guest
  • 1971

QUOTES FROM Ruth Gordon CHARACTERS