May Star of the Month: Ruth Gordon

Ruth Gordon winning a much deserved Oscar.
Ruth Gordon winning a much deserved Oscar.

Ruth Gordon is an American actress best know for her roles in Harold and Maude, and Rosemary’s Baby. Beginning her career on Broadway at the age of nineteen she didn’t gain critically acclaim for her film work until her later years. More than an actress, Ruth was screenwriter. She co-wrote the critically acclaimed Adams Rib with her husband. She is the winner of an Academy Award, an Emmy and two Golden Globes for her acting. She has an Oscar nomination for her writing.

A young Ruth Gordon
A young Ruth Gordon

Ruth had an uncredited appearance in 1915 as an extra. It wasn’t till an appearance along side Greta Garbo in Two Faced Women that she began acting in film. She would go on to appear in Lincoln in Illinois and Dr. Ehrlich Magic Bullet. Both of these roles were more substantial. Over the years she appeared in several supporting roles. Never too far from the stage Gordon appeared in and wrote scripts for Broadway. When she married writer Garson Kanin in 1942 the two began to collaborate. The couple remained together until Ruth’s death in 1985. After making one of her most beloved appearances in Harold and Maude she went on to star in many more films and guest starring spots on television. She worked regularly until her death.

Ruth Gordon in Harold and Maude
Ruth Gordon in Harold and Maude

If you asked me who the queen of character acting was, I would answer Ruth Gordon. Her effortless emotion that pours out of her. Every word and movement has meaning. She may be acting but she is real. She gives her all and her passion for the art is apparent. If you only see one Ruth Gordon film in your life make in Harold and Maude. Its a great film and you get to see one of the greats at her best. Available on Netflix, you can watch anytime from the comfort of your home. Admired by Natalie Wood whom she costarred with in Inside Daisy Clover, Wood made Gordon her first daughters Godmother. Gordon lived a long life and I am glad that we were allowed to join her on her journey as one of the greats.

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