Friday, May 17, 2013

Ruth Donnelly, 1896-1982

Today marks the birth anniversary of character actress Ruth Donnelly, one of those names you've probably seen in the credits of a bunch of famous movies, even if you don't recognize which role she's playing. In Donnelly's case, that's quite a few well-known movies, including a showing of Autumn Leaves early tomorrow morning (or overnight tonight) at 4:00 AM, in which Donnelly plays Joan Crawford's landlord. At least, this according to the IMDb reviews; this is one of those many movies where I'd recognize the name but wouldn't have remembered which character she played.

In fact, I've only actually mentioned Donnelly's name once before, if Blogger's search function isn't acting up. That's in the 1934 movie Heat Lightning, in which she plays a divorcée on her way to Reno with her friend Glenda Farrell. It's a bit of a shame I've only mentioned her once, since I really should have mentioned her when I blogged about A Slight Case of Murder, seeing as she plays Edward G. Robinson's wife, which is a fairly important role in the proceedings. Other famous movies include Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, in which I'd guess she's one of the women back in the small town Gary Cooper comes from. There's also Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, in which she plays the First Lady opposite the Governor played by Guy Kibbee. She's also Ruth, one of the mental patients, in The Snake Pit.

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