Ruth Gordon

Probably the most well-known role she played was the character of Maude in Harold and Maude. She is also remembered as Minnie Castevet in Rosemary’s Baby. Ruth Gordon was also a member of the Algonquin Round Table. She was a brilliant writer and actress. She was a stage actress mostly until the 1940s when she started to appear in films. She went back to the stage until the 60s where she started to be in films up to her death.

Ruth was born in 1896 in Wollaston, Massachusetts. She was a very successful writer and actress.

In 1915 she made her Broadway debut in Peter Pan in the role of Nibs. Her performance endeared her to the New York critic Alexander Woollcott, who introduced her to the famous Algonquin Round Table, a group that included George S. Kaufman, Robert Benchley, Edna Ferber, Alice Duer Miller, Heywood Broun, Dorothy Parker, and Harpo Marx.

Throughout the next three decades, Ruth appeared in several plays by playwrights such as Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, and Booth Tarkington. She enjoyed her greatest stage triumph in a 1936 production of The Country-Wife at London’s Old Vic.

She married screenwriter and director Garson Kanin in 1942. Ruth and Garson collaborated on many plays and screenplays together.

She appeared in a handful of films during the early 1940s, including Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940), Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet (1940), Two-Faced Woman (1941; Greta Garbo’s final film), Edge of Darkness (1942), and Action in the North Atlantic (1943). She then returned to the stage and did not appear in another film for 22 years.

She came back to film in1965 with Inside Daisy Clover ( best-supporting-actress Oscar nomination). She won an Oscar for her supporting role in Rosemary’s Baby (1968), and she developed a strong cult following with her offbeat characters in Where’s Poppa (1970) and Harold and Maude (1971). She appeared in many television programs and made-for-TV movies during the 1960s and ’70s and won an Emmy in 1979 for her role on an episode of the popular sitcom Taxi. Gordon and Kanin also collaborated on one more writing project, the TV movie Hardhat and Legs (1980).

Ruth Gordon died on August 28, 1985, and Garson Kanin died on March 13, 1999.

Awards from IMDB

Academy Awards

1969 Winner
OscarBest Actress in a Supporting Role
Rosemary’s Baby (1968) 

1966 Nominee
OscarBest Actress in a Supporting Role
Inside Daisy Clover (1965)

1953 Nominee
OscarBest Writing, Story and Screenplay
Pat and Mike (1952) 
Shared with: Garson Kanin

1951 Nominee
OscarBest Writing, Story and Screenplay
Adam’s Rib (1949) 

Shared with: Garson Kanin

1948 Nominee

OscarBest Writing, Original Screenplay
A Double Life (1947)

Shared with: Garson Kanin

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

8 thoughts on “Ruth Gordon”

    1. She really excelled in what was a man dominated profession in writing.
      My mom was a single mom in the 70s so I saw on a common every day level how hard it was to succeed. I really admire women/people like this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is true… many women were not heard.
        I’m going to post something soon on Dorothy Parker… she broke through and was her own person. Great writer…

        Liked by 1 person

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