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Susan Ruttan

Susan Ruttan

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Also Known As: Susan Dunrud Died:
Born: September 16, 1948 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Oregon City, Oregon, USA Profession: actor, casting director, clothing designer, secretary, bar manager

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

An auburn-haired character player, Susan Ruttan perhaps is best remembered for her seven-year stint (1986-93) as the likable but less-than-brilliant good-hearted secretary Roxanne Melman on NBC's "L.A. Law".

An auburn-haired character player, Susan Ruttan perhaps is best remembered for her seven-year stint (1986-93) as the likable but less-than-brilliant good-hearted secretary Roxanne Melman on NBC's "L.A. Law".

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Half-Life (2008)
3.
 Helter Skelter (2004) Linda'S Mother
4.
6.
 Krippendorf's Tribe (1998) Mrs O'Brian
7.
 Love Kills (1998) Lela
8.
 Touched By Evil (1997) Madge Jaynes
9.
 Jack Reed: Death and Vengeance (1996) Arlene Reed
10.
 Jack Reed: A Killer Amongst Us (1996) Arlene Reed
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Moved from one logging camp to another with her father while growing up
:
Adopted by her paternal grandmother after parents' divorce until she was 12; was sent to boarding school and spent holidays with father
1966:
Moved to Santa Rosa, California, to live with mother after high school graduation
1970:
Managed a bar after her first husband's death (date approximate)
1974:
Professional acting debut in the Staircase Repertory production of "Hot l Baltimore" in Santa Cruz, California; stayed with the company four years
1979:
Joined casting department at Universal Studios
:
Acted with the Performing Garage in NYC
1981:
Made guest appearances in episodes of the ABC sitcoms "Bosom Buddies" and "Best of the West"
1982:
Feature film debut, a bit role as a nurse in "Independence Day"
1982:
TV movie debut, small part in "Drop-Out Father" (CBS)
1983:
Acted in the pilots "After George" (CBS) and "Buffalo Bill" (NBC)
1984:
Had recurring guest role on "Buffalo Bill"
1984:
TV series debut as regular, the short-lived CBS comedy "Empire"
1985:
Had supporting role in the CBS movie "Do You Remember Love"
1985:
Cast as a judge in "Murder: By Reason of Insanity" (CBS)
1986:
Breakthrough TV role as lumpen secretary Roxanne Melman on the NBC courtroom series, "L.A. Law"; earned four Emmy nominations; role was diminished from weekly to recurring before she was dropped by the show in its eighth season
1987:
Co-starred in the NBC thriller "Bay Coven"
1991:
Portrayed the mother of a mentally challenged child in "A Triumph of the Heart: The Ricky Bell Story" (CBS)
1992:
Cast as Arlene Reed, wife of a Chicago police detective (played by Brian Dennehy) in the NBC miniseries "Deadly Matrimony"
:
Reprised role of Arlene Reed in four TV-movie sequels aired on NBC
1996:
Appeared on stage in Canada in "Funny Money"
1998:
Supported Ann-Margaret in the Lifetime movie "Life of the Party: The Pamela Harriman Story"
1998:
Had featured role in the movie comedy "Krippendorf's Tribe"
2000:
Made memorable guest appearance as the uncaring mother of Carmen Ferrara (played by Sara Rue) in "Popular" (The WB)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Oregon: Eugene , Oregon -
University of California at Santa Cruz: Santa Cruz , California -

Notes

Not to be confused with the Canadian journalist of the same name.

Ruttan had her own small company for which she designed clothes.

Ruttan has served as a spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Mel Ruttan. Married when Ruttan was 18; he died in a motorcycle accident three years later; former Green Beret; five years her senior.
husband:
Randy McDonald. Boom-microphone operator. Born c. 1947; married in October 1990; met on the "L.A. Law" set in 1986; separated in 1993; divorced.

Family close complete family listing

grandmother:
Elsie Dunrud. Adopted Ruttan after parents' divorce until her death when Ruttan was 12.
father:
Daryl Dunrud. Itinerant logger. Divorced when Ruttan was two.
mother:
Helen Manis. Retired nurse. Had two children by previous marriage; moved to northern California after divorce.
son:
Jackson Adams Ruttan. Adopted by Ruttan; born on May 19, 1993.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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