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Ruth Donnelly (1896–1982)

Feisty, ebullient character comedienne who, for three decades, enlivened Hollywood films with her drollery and quick-fire repartee. The daughter of a newspaper editor and music critic, Ruth made her stage debut in the chorus of the touring production 'The Quaker Girl' in 1913. Four years later, she had made it to Broadway, playing a telephone ... See full bio »

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Known For

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town Mabel Dawson
The Bells of St. Mary's
The Bells of St. Mary's Sister Michael
The Snake Pit


Hide Hide Show Show Actress (102 credits)
 1965 The Doctors and the Nurses (TV Series)
Mrs. Maloney
- The Patient Nurse (1965) ... Mrs. Maloney
 1964 Harris Against the World (TV Series)
Aunt Cora
- Harris Against Aunt Cora (1964) ... Aunt Cora
 1963 East Side/West Side (TV Series)
Mrs. Grevitch
- Creeps Live Here (1963) ... Mrs. Grevitch
 1957 The Way to the Gold
Mrs. Williams
 1957 Cavalcade of America (TV Series)
Ma Dolan
- Are Trees People? (1957) ... Ma Dolan
 1956 Autumn Leaves
Liz Eckhart
 1956 Crossroads (TV Series)
Mother O'Brien
- Mother O'Brien (1956) ... Mother O'Brien
 1955 A Lawless Street
Molly Higgins
 1955 The Spoilers
 1954 The Imogene Coca Show (TV Series)
Regular (1954-55)
 1954 Mayor of the Town (TV Series)
- Take Me Out to the Ballgame (1954) ... Beth
 1951 The Wild Blue Yonder
Maj. Ida Winton
 1951 The Secret of Convict Lake
Mary Fancher
 1951 I'd Climb the Highest Mountain
Glory White
 1949 Down to the Sea in Ships
New Bedford Neighbor (scenes deleted)
 1948 The Snake Pit
 1948 Fighting Father Dunne
Kate Mulvey
 1947 The Fabulous Texan
Utopia Mills
 1947 Little Miss Broadway
Aunt Minerva Van Dorn
 1947 Millie's Daughter
Helen Reilly
 1947 The Ghost Goes Wild
Aunt Susan Beecher
 1946 Cross My Heart
Eve Harper
 1946 In Old Sacramento
Zebby Booker
 1946 Cinderella Jones
Cora Elliot
 1945 The Bells of St. Mary's
Sister Michael
 1945 Pillow to Post
Mrs. Grace Wingate
 1943 Thank Your Lucky Stars
Nurse Hamilton
 1943 Sleepy Lagoon
Sarah Rogers
 1943 This Is the Army
Mrs. O'Brien
 1942 Johnny Doughboy
Biggy Biggsworth
 1941 Rise and Shine
Mame Bacon
 1941 You Belong to Me
 1941 Sailors on Leave
Aunt Navy
 1941 The Gay Vagabond
Kate Dixon
 1941 Model Wife
Mrs. Milo Everett
 1941 The Roundup
Polly Hope
 1940 Scatterbrain
Miss Stevens
 1940 My Little Chickadee
Aunt Lou
 1939 The Amazing Mr. Williams
Effie Perkins
 1939 The Family Next Door
Mrs. Pierce
 1938 Personal Secretary
 1938 The Affairs of Annabel
Josephine (Jo)
 1938 Meet the Girls
Daisy Watson
 1938 Army Girl
Leila Kennett
 1937 Portia on Trial
Jane Wilkins
 1937 Roaring Timber
Aunt Mary
 1936 More Than a Secretary
Helen Davis
 1936 Cain and Mabel
Aunt Mimi
 1936 Fatal Lady
Melba York
 1936 13 Hours by Air
Vi Johnson - Stewardess
 1936 Song and Dance Man
Patsy O'Madigan
 1935 Personal Maid's Secret
 1935 Hands Across the Table
 1935 Red Salute
Mrs. Edith Rooney
 1935 Alibi Ike
 1935 Traveling Saleslady
Mrs. Twitchell
 1935 The White Cockatoo
Mrs. Byng
 1934 Happiness Ahead
 1934 Romance in the Rain
Miss Sparks
 1934 Housewife
 1934 Merry Wives of Reno
 1934 Heat Lightning
Mrs. Ashton-Ashley
 1934 Wonder Bar
Mrs. Simpson
 1934 Mandalay
Mrs. George Peters
 1933 Convention City
Mrs. Ellerbe
 1933 Havana Widows
Emily Jones
 1933 Female
Miss Frothingham
 1933 'Tis Spring (Short)
 1933 Ever in My Heart
Lizzie, the Housekeeper
 1933 Footlight Parade
Mrs. Harriet Gould
 1933 Bureau of Missing Persons
Gwendolyn Harris
 1933 Goodbye Again
Richview Hotel Maid
 1933 Sing Sinner Sing
Margaret 'Maggie' Flannigan
 1933 Private Detective 62
 1933 Lilly Turner
Edna Yokum
 1933 Ladies They Talk About
 1933 Hard to Handle
Lil Waters
 1933 Employees' Entrance
Miss Hall
 1933 Just Around the Corner (Short)
Mrs. Sears
 1932 Blessed Event
Miss Stevens
 1932 Jewel Robbery
Berta - Teri's Maid (uncredited)
 1932 Make Me a Star
The Countess
 1932 The Rainbow Trail
Widow Abigail
 1931 Wicked
 1931 The Spider
Mrs. Wimbledon
 1931 Transatlantic
Burbank (scenes deleted)
 1927 Rubber Heels
Fanny Pratt
 1916 Saved by a Song (Short)
 1914 The Tenth Commandment (Short)
The Doctor's Wife
 1914 In All Things Moderation (Short)
Winnie Graham - the Youngest Daughter
 1914 When the Heart Calls (Short)
 1914 The Lady of the Island (Short)
The Nurse
 1914 The Skull (Short)
 1914 The Man Who Lost, But Won (Short)
Rose Mason - The Minister's Wife
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Show Show Self (2 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (2 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage Play: If I Was Rich. Written by William Anthony McGuire. Directed by William Anthony McGuire. Mansfield Theatre: 2 Sep 1926- Nov 1926 (closing date unknown/92 performances). Cast: Joseph Baird (as "Richard McDermott"), G.D. Byron, Charles Dow Clark, Ruth Donnelly (as "Elizabeth McCue"), John T. Doyle, Dorothy Fenron, Howard Hull ... See more »

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2 Articles | See more »


5' 6" (1.68 m)

Did You Know?


She worked as standby for Patsy Kelly during the Broadway run of the 1971 hit "No, No Nanette" and later did the role on tour. See more »

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