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|Also Known As:||Therese Ann Rutherford||Died:||June 11, 2012|
|Born:||November 2, 1920||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Toronto, Ontario, CA||Profession:||Cast ... actor|
This attractive brunette supporting player and occasional lead of the 1930s and 40s first gained prominence as the heroine in Mascot/Republic Westerns before finding lasting fame as Polly Benedict in the Andy Hardy series at MGM. Ann Rutherford was born in Toronto but raised in Southern California where she was onstage by the age of five. The daughter of tenor John Guilberty and actress Lucille Mansfield, Rutherford frequently appeared in theatrical and radio productions until she was signed by Republic at age 17. Variously teamed with Gene Autry ("Melody Trail" 1935, "Public Cowboy No. 1" 1937) and John Wayne ("The Lonely Trail" and "The Lawless Nineties", both 1936) while at Republic, she moved to supporting player at MGM when she signed with that studio in 1937. Almost immediately, she was cast as Polly opposite Mickey Rooney's Andy Hardy in a series of films that stretched from 1938 until 1942. Rutherford also landed the role of sister in two high profile features: she was Careen O'Hara to Vivian Leigh's Scarlett in "Gone With the Wind" (1939) and Lydia to Greer Garson's Elizabeth in "Pride and Prejudice" (1940). In 1941, she found herself successfully teamed with Red Skelton as the sleuthing 'The Fox' in "Whistling in the Dark" and its two sequels, "Whistling in Dixie" (1942) and "Whistling in Brooklyn" (1943). Rutherford went on to appear opposite Danny Kaye in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (1947) and Errol Flynn in 1948's "The Adventures of Don Juan". After co-starring with Bill Williams in "Operation Haylift" in 1950, she retired from the screen until 1972 when she briefly appeared as a police secretary in "They Only Kill Their Masters". Rutherford then had a recurring role on the CBS sitcom "The Bob Newhart Show" (1972-78), as the mother of Suzanne Pleshette.
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