Ruth Gordon - Rotten Tomatoes

Ruth Gordon

Highest Rated:   100% Where's Poppa? (1970)
Lowest Rated:   0% Maxie (1985)
Birthday:  
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

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
71% Lord Love a Duck
  • Stella Barnard
2000
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
31% 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
86% 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
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
No Score Yet Newhart - "Grandma, What a Big Mouth You Have"
  • Actor

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
  • Guest

Quotes from Ruth Gordon's Characters