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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.
5.
 Krippendorf's Tribe (1998) Mrs O'Brian
6.
 Love Kills (1998) Lela
8.
 Touched By Evil (1997) Madge Jaynes
9.
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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