Ruth Shoecraft was born in Michigan and raised in Ohio, where her father served as a county sheriff. At 20, Shoecraft attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, but put her theatrical aspirations on the back burner when she married a Florida widower named Patrick John McDevitt. When her husband died in 1934, Shoecraft returned to the stage asRuth McDevitt, first in community theatre, then on Broadway and in radio. She made her first film in 1951, but for the most part steered clear of Hollywood, preferring to appear in such Manhattan-based plays as The Solid Gold Cadillac, Picnic, The Best Man and Absence of a Cello. McDevitt's entree into weekly television was on the classic early-1950s Wally Cox sitcom Mr. Peepers, in which she played Wally's mom. Her next series stint was as rifle-wielding Grandma Hanks in the short-lived 1967 western comedy Pistols and Petticoats. During the 1960s, she returned to films, usually playing a dotty little old lady with more on the ball than people suspected. Still going strong in the early 1970s, Shoecraft played recurring roles on the TV series All in the Family and Kolchak. Ruth McDevitt made her last appearance at age 80 in the made-for-TV feature One of My Wives is Missing (1976).