Ruth Hussey


Actor
Ruth Hussey

About

Also Known As
Ruth Carol Hussey, Ruth March
Birth Place
Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Born
October 30, 1914
Died
April 19, 2005
Cause of Death
Complications From An Apendectomy

Biography

This MGM contract player of the late 1930s and early 40s played some leads, but mostly supporting parts, usually as a sophisticated, knowing women or vixen. Ruth Hussey got her best shot as the cynical photographer in "The Philadelphia Story" (1940), for which she was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress. She also starred opposite Ralph Bellamy on Broadway in "State of the U...

Photos & Videos

The Philadelphia Story - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Flight Command - Publicity Stills
The Uninvited - Movie Poster

Family & Companions

Robert Longnecker
Husband

Biography

This MGM contract player of the late 1930s and early 40s played some leads, but mostly supporting parts, usually as a sophisticated, knowing women or vixen. Ruth Hussey got her best shot as the cynical photographer in "The Philadelphia Story" (1940), for which she was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress. She also starred opposite Ralph Bellamy on Broadway in "State of the Union" (1945).

Hussey attended Pembroke College of Brown University and the University of Michigan where studied acting. She moved to New York where she worked first as a fashion commentator on radio and then as a Powers model before MGM brought her to Hollywood in the mid 30s with a five-year contract. Her first film was "The Big City" (1937), a Spencer Tracy vehicle in which Hussey had a bit part. But that same year, she was assigned the role of the adult abandoned daughter in the remake of "Madame X." Hussey was put into "Judge Hardy's Children" (1938), in a small role, but no rival to Andy's lady-love Polly Benedict. 1939 brought small roles in such classics as "Honolulu" and "The Women," but Hussey still had not connected as a front player. That happened in 1940, when she played opposite Spencer Tracy in "Northwest Passage" and especially when she was cast as Elizabeth Imbrie, the photographer attached only professionally to a scandal mongering reporter (James Stewart), in "The Philadelphia Story."

Leading roles soon followed. She starred opposite Melvyn Douglas in the marital strife drama "Our Wife" (1941). As Hussey's MGM days waned, she began to work for other studios. She played wife to Van Heflin's "Tennessee Johnson" (1943), a biopic of the 17th US President, and was the female doctor to John Carroll in "Bedside Manner" (1945), before leaving Hollywood for Broadway. Hussey returned to films in 1948 with "I, Jane Doe," in which she was an attorney defending the woman accused of murdering her husband. She played Jordan Baker, Daisy Buchanan's friend, in the 1949 remake of "The Great Gatsby," and was wife to Clifton Webb's John Philip Sousa in "Stars and Stripes Forever" (1952). She again played a wife, this time to Bob Hope, in her last feature "Facts of Life" (1960).

Hussey did many guest appearances on TV anthology shows in the 50s, beginning with "The Magnificent Ambersons" (a 1950 episode of ABC's "Pulitzer Prize Playhouse"). She played wife to Jack Benny in a 1955 "Shower of Stars" entitled "Time Out for Ginger," but, by the early 60s, had all but stopped working in front of the cameras. Robert Young, her old MGM crony, lured her back to TV as a guest star on a 1972 episode of his ABC series "Marcus Welby, M.D." and also as his love interest in the TV-movie "My Darling Daughters' Anniversary" (ABC, 1973), which marked her last screen appearance. The actress, who was married for 60 years to talent agent George Longenecker, died in 2005.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

My Darling Daughters' Anniversary (1973)
Maggie Cartwright
The Facts of Life (1960)
Mary Gilbert
Sunrise at Campobello (1960)
Miss Garroway
The Lady Wants Mink (1953)
Nora Connors
Stars and Stripes Forever (1952)
Jennie Sousa
Woman of the North Country (1952)
Christine Powell
That's My Boy (1951)
Ann Jackson
Louisa (1950)
Meg Norton
Mr. Music (1950)
Lorna Marvis
The Great Gatsby (1949)
Jordan Baker
I, Jane Doe (1948)
Eve Meredith Curtis
Bedside Manner (1945)
Dr. Hedy Fredericks
The Uninvited (1944)
Pamela Fitzgerald
Marine Raiders (1944)
Ellen Foster
Tender Comrade (1944)
Barbara Thomas
Pierre of the Plains (1942)
Daisy Denton
Tennessee Johnson (1942)
Eliza McCardle
Our Wife (1941)
Susan Drake
Married Bachelor (1941)
Norma Haven [also known as Norma Winters]
Free and Easy (1941)
Martha Gray
H. M. Pulham, Esq. (1941)
Kay Motford [Pulham]
Flight Command (1940)
Lorna Gary
Northwest Passage (Book I--Rogers' Rangers) (1940)
Elizabeth Browne
Susan and God (1940)
Charlotte
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Elizabeth Imbrey
Northwest Passage (1940)
The Women (1939)
Miss Watts
Another Thin Man (1939)
Dorothy Waters
Blackmail (1939)
Helen Ingram
Within the Law (1939)
Mary Turner
Fast and Furious (1939)
Lily Cole
Maisie (1939)
Sybil Ames
Honolulu (1939)
Eve
Hold That Kiss (1938)
Nadine Piermont
Judge Hardy's Children (1938)
Margaret Lee
Time Out for Murder (1938)
Peggy Norton
Man-Proof (1938)
Jane
Rich Man, Poor Girl (1938)
Joan Thayer
Spring Madness (1938)
Kate McKim
Marie Antoinette (1938)
Mme. De Polignanc
Madame X (1937)
Annette
Big City (1937)
Mayor's secretary

Cast (Special)

Time Out For Ginger (1955)
Agnes Carol

Cast (Short)

Soaring Stars (1942)
Herself

Life Events

1936

Signed five-year contract with MGM (date approximate)

1937

Made film acting debut in "The Big City"

1939

Co-starred in "The Women"

1940

Earned Academy Award nomination for her role in "The Philadelphia Story"

1945

Left Hollywood for Broadway; starred opposite Ralph Bellamy in "State of the Union"

1948

Returned to films in "I, Jane Doe"

1950

Made early TV apperance on "Pulitzer Prize Playhouse" (ABC)

1973

Played love interest to Robert Young in her first and only TV-movie, "My Darling Daughters' Anniversary" (ABC)

Photo Collections

The Philadelphia Story - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a number of Behind-the-Scenes photos taken during production of The Philadelphia Story (1940), directed by George Cukor and starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart.
Flight Command - Publicity Stills
Here are some stills taken to help publicize MGM's Flight Command (1940), starring Robert Taylor, Ruth Hussey, and Walter Pidgeon. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Uninvited - Movie Poster
Here is the American One-Sheet Movie Poster from The Uninvited (1944), starring Ray Milland. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Women - Scene Stills
Here are a number of scene stills from MGM's The Women (1939), starring Norman Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Mary Boland, Paulette Goddard, and Joan Fontaine.

Videos

Movie Clip

Blackmail (1939) - White Or Whole Wheat? Oklahoma oil-rig fire fighter (Edward G. Robinson as John Ingram) returns home with his wife and son (Ruth Hussey, Bobs Watson) celebrating the opening of his own first well when he’s confronted by a drifter (Gene Lockhart as Ramey), who makes clear why he’s been sensitive about his past, in MGM’s Blackmail, 1939.
Blackmail (1939) - Don't Use A Nasty Word Like That Oklahoma oil-rig fire fighter (Edward G. Robinson as John Ingram) returns home with his wife and son (Ruth Hussey, Bobs Watson) celebrating the opening of his own first well when he’s confronted by a drifter (Gene Lockhart as Ramey), who makes clear why he’s been sensitive about his past, in MGM’s Blackmail, 1939.
Tender Comrade (1943) - You Have Very Small Ears Kind of a moment for Ruth Hussey (as Barbara, married to deployed Pete, who might well be a heel), with WWII California factory worker housemates, Kim Hunter, Patricia Collinge and Ginger Rogers (as newlywed Doris, Helen and Jo), about dating other men, in Tender Comrade. 1943.
Tender Comrade (1944) - White For Dumbrowski? Looks like at least the crew visited the Douglas Aircraft plant in Long Beach, CA, military wives Jo (Ginger Rogers), Barbara (Ruth Hussey), Helen (Patricia Collinge) and Doris (Kim Hunter, one of her earliest roles), getting lunch in Tender Comrade, 1944.
Philadelphia Story, The (1941) - They Grew Up Together Complexity as Tracy (Katharine Hepburn) performs for impostor society wedding guests (really reporters) Mike (James Stewart) and Liz (Ruth Hussey), fiancè George (John Howard) arrives, and her ex, Dexter (Cary Grant) crashes in The Philadelphia Story, 1941.
Flight Command (1940) - Keep It Flying Director Frank Borzage in his element, high emotion meeting military duty, as dying inventor-pilot Jerry (Shepperd Strudwick) shares with buddy Drake (Robert Taylor) while their commander (Walter Pidgeon) breaks the news to his wife, Jerry’s sister (Ruth Hussey), expecting courage, in Flight Command, 1940.
Flight Command (1940) - I Thought I'd Landed In China Brash Navy flight school graduate Drake (Robert Taylor) has just crash-landed his new plane in the Pacific, not realizing that the lady (Ruth Hussey) of the first house he comes to is the wife of his irritated new commander (Walter Pidgeon), in Frank Borzage’s Flight Command, 1940.
Uninvited, The (1944) - You'd Sell For That? Received by skittish Stella (Gail Russell), sibling Londoners Rick (Ray Milland) and Pam (Ruth Hussey) strike an odd deal to buy a seaside house from Commander Beech (Donald Crisp) in director Lewis Allens' The Uninvited, 1944.
Uninvited, The (1944) - Don't Get Rattled On his first night in the house, Rick (Ray Milland) hopes the crying voice might be the maid, but is assured by sister Pam (Ruth Hussey) that's not the case, in director Lewis Allen's The Uninvited, 1944.
Uninvited, The (1944) - Open, Haunted Shores Opening credits and Ray Milland's scene-setting narration from director Lewis Allen's The Uninvited, 1944, also starring Ruth Hussey and Donald Crisp, from the play by Dorothy Macardle.
Uninvited, The (1944) - The Most Howling Mistake Odd events begin, not recognized by siblings Rick (Ray Milland) and Pam (Ruth Hussey), as they assess the old seaside house they've just picked up for a song, in Lewis Allen's The Uninvited, 1944.
Rich Man, Poor Girl (1938) - I Should Grab You And Run Having just announced her surprise engagement to her millionaire boss to her family, now up on the roof of their tenement, Joan (Ruth Hussey) reflects on whether she and Bill (Robert Young) are making the right move, in Rich Man, Poor Girl, 1938, also starring Lana Turner and Lew Ayres.

Trailer

Susan and God - (Original Trailer) A flighty socialite neglects her family to promote a new religious group in Susan and God (1940) starring Joan Crawford, directed by George Cukor.
Hold That Kiss - (Original Trailer) Romance blossoms when a man and woman each think the other is rich in Hold That Kiss (1938) starring Maureen O'Sullivan.
Uninvited, The - (Original Trailer) Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey are siblings who discover their new house is visited by The Uninvited (1944), one of the first, and best, serious ghost stories from Hollywood.
H.M. Pulham, Esquire - (Original Trailer) Robert Young plays a stuffy businessman who livens things up by having a fling with Hedy Lamarr. Directed by King Vidor.
Facts of Life, The - (Original Trailer) Suburban marrieds (Bob Hope, Lucille Ball) are tempted to dabble in adultery.
Blackmail (1939) - (Original Trailer) Edward G. Robinson plays a man in prison on false charges who escapes to save his family from Blackmail (1939).
Flight Command - (Original Trailer) Walter Pidgeon introduces himself as Commander Gary, also the host of the original theatrical trailer for MGM's Flight Command, 1940, starring Robert Taylor and Ruth Hussey, directed by Frank Borzage.
Pierre of the Plains - (Original Trailer) A French-Canadian trapper's adventures jeopardize his romance with an innkeeper in Pierre of the Plains (1942).
Man-Proof - (Original Trailer) Myrna Loy may be crying in the chapel, but she refuses to give up her man, even after his marriage to Rosalind Russell in Man-Proof (1938).
Madame X (1937) - (Original Trailer) MGM rather shooting the moon in this original trailer for the fourth film version of Madame X, 1937, this time starring Gladys George.
Spring Madness - (Original Trailer) A Harvard man (Lew Ayres) romances a coed (Maureen O'Sullivan) from a nearby college and comes down with Spring Madness (1938).
Tennessee Johnson - (Original Trailer) Tennessee Johnson (1942), a biography of Andrew Johnson (Van Heflin), who became the only U.S. president ever to be tried by Congress.

Family

John C Longnecker
Son
Producer, screenwriter.

Companions

Robert Longnecker
Husband

Bibliography