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Ruth Warrick Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (6) | Trade Mark (5) | Trivia (96) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (5)

Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, USA
Died in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA  (complications from pneumonia)
Birth NameRuth Elizabeth Warrick
Nickname Mrs. Citizen Kane
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Reedy and regal actress Ruth Warrick will be remembered for two names and two names alone. In films, she will indelibly be referred to as the castoff first "Mrs. Citizen Kane," and on TV she will forever be synonymous with her character of Phoebe Tyler Wallingford, the obnoxiously wealthy, viper-tongued, manipulative and meddlesome Pine Valley grande dame who held court for 35 years until her death in 2005.

Born in St. Joseph, Missouri in 1915, Ruth moved to Kansas City while in high school and later studied at the University of Kansas City. An essay contest winner, a resulting promotional tour brought her to New York where her interest in acting was increasingly piqued. Stage-trained in New York, she appeared in such plays as "Bury the Dead" (1933) and was a radio singer at one point. She met her first husband during one her many broadcasts. This in turn led her to Orson Welles and his Mercury Theater, and the rest is history. In 1941 Welles escorted her and his company of members to Hollywood...and major stardom.

Exclusively chosen by Welles to make her ladylike debut as Emily Norton Kane in what most consider the greatest American film of all time, she followed Citizen Kane (1941) with nearly two dozen films, most of which were "B" melodramas and rugged adventures. She could play the altruistic wife with stoic ease but enjoyed more enthusiastic notices when controlling, tightly-wound or neurotic. Appearing with some of Hollywood's most illustrious male and female stars, she played a countess opposite Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in The Corsican Brothers (1941); co-starred with Mercury Theater compatriots Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead and Everett Sloane in the classic film noir Journey Into Fear (1942); and starred in several war-themed movies including Secret Command (1944) with Chester Morris, Mr. Winkle Goes to War (1944) with Edward G. Robinson, and China Sky (1945), with 'Randolph Scott' (I). Post-war credits tended to regress her to second lead status opposite the likes of Joan Crawford and Ingrid Bergman, yet she still managed a few top femme roles in such films as Driftwood (1947) and One Too Many (1950), the latter in which she played an alcoholic.

The focus of Ruth's career switched to the "Golden Age" of TV in the 1950s. Aside from her many live dramatic showcases, she made a lasting mark in daytime soap opera. Her tight-lipped matrons on Guiding Light (1952) and As the World Turns (1956) were only a warm-up for her once-in-a-lifetime portrayal of one of daytime's most dominant, colorful and enduring characters. Cast on All My Children (1970) from the show's inception, Phoebe Tyler became a clear and instant favorite -- the lady you relished hating. Her priggish socialite character carried strong story lines for nearly two decades until advancing age and failing health restricted her time. Her well-received (and aptly titled) autobiography "The Confessions of Phoebe Tyler" (1980) chronicled the lives of both her and her alter-ego. Prime time also made use of Ruth's sudsy-styled talent as her Emmy nomination for the role of Hannah Cord in Peyton Place (1964) will attest.

Making her Broadway debut with "Miss Lonelyhearts" in 1957, Ruth's talents also included singing and, in between on-screen assignments, enjoyed the musical stage now and then. She understudied in "Take Me Along" (1959) with Jackie Gleason and in 1973 enjoyed a successful return to Broadway with the revival of "Irene" starring Debbie Reynolds. In regional and summer theater she starred in "Dial M for Murder," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Long Day's Journey Into Night," among others. She also toured as Anna in "The King and I" and appeared in the musicals "Pal Joey" and "Roberta."

Her life, however, was not dedicated to just on-camera pursuits. On the contrary, long active in arts-in-education programs, including programs for the disadvantaged, Ruth received the first national Arts in Education Award in 1983 from the Board of Directors of Business and Industry for Arts in Education, Inc. The award was subsequently named the Ruth Warrick Award for Arts in Education and continued to be given annually. In 1991, she received her certification as a licensed metaphysical teacher. In her senior years, she became an avid spokesperson for the rights of senior citizens as well as the disabled, and was appointed to the U.N. World Women's Committee on Mental Health.

In frail health in later years, the still feisty, five times married-and-divorced actress made occasional appearances on her beloved daytime show, even while confined to a wheelchair after a serious fall in 2001. She made her final appearance on the show in early January, 2005 to commemorate its 35th anniversary, and passed away shortly after at age 89 of complications from pneumonia.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (6)

Jarvis Cushing (2 March 1975 - ?) (divorced)
Frank Freda (1972 - 1973) (divorced)
Carl Neubert (15 September 1961 - ?) (divorced)
Robert McNamara (July 1953 - 1960) (divorced) (1 child)
Carl Neubert (23 April 1950 - 20 June 1952) (divorced)
Erik Rolf (15 April 1938 - 19 July 1945) (divorced) (2 children)

Trade Mark (5)

Voluptuous figure
Deep sultry voice
Occasionally played women who needs to get a divorce from her husbands
Natural brunette hair
Sparkling blue eyes

Trivia (96)

Cousin of actress Mimi Kennedy.
Children with Rolf: Karen Elizabeth (b. 13 March 1941) and Jon (c. September 1942) Child with McNamara: son Timothy
Fell and broke her hip in early 2001 while vacationing in Italy. The fall was incorporated into the All My Children (1970) script, and she continued to play her Phoebe Tyler Wallingford character on a limited basis from a wheelchair.
In July 2000, she refused to accept a lifetime achievement award from the South Carolina Arts Commission because she was offended by legislators' decision to move the Confederate flag from the state Capitol dome to another spot on the grounds in response to a boycott of the state by flag opponents. A life-long supporter of African-American rights, she felt the flag should be removed completely, and commented, "In my view, this was no compromise. It was a deliberate affront to the African-Americans who see it as a sign of oppression and hate.".
Appeared very briefly on All My Children (1970) in early January of 2005, shortly before her death, to commemorate the soap opera's 35th anniversary.
In 1937, she won a contest to serve as Kansas City's paid ambassador and ended up in New York presenting a live turkey to Mayor Fiorello La Guardia at City Hall. She decided to stay in the big city and found work on radio and with the Mercury Theatre troupe headed by Orson Welles.
Appeared in the Broadway musicals "Take Me Along" with Jackie Gleason in 1959, and "Irene" with Debbie Reynolds in 1973.
Known for her tireless work to promote education, she was active in the League School in Walpole, Massachusetts for autistic children. She also taught in Operation Bootstrap, a Los Angeles program that provided teachers to poor neighborhoods, and was a active participant in Jimmy Carter's Cities in Schools program.
Graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Her favorite musical was The King and I (1956), from which came her favorite song, "Getting to Know You."
She was an enormous fan of The Beatles.
She was a licensed teacher of the Unity School of Christianity.
In the 1980s, she admitted to have had a "torrid romance" with Anthony Quinn while making the film China Sky (1945).
In 1991, Warrick was honored with a caricature on the wall of the famous New York restaurant Sardi's in honor of the 50th anniversary of her performance in Citizen Kane (1941).
Became close friends with her All My Children (1970) co-star Louis Edmonds who played husband Langley Wallingford, to the point where he confided to her the real-life secret that he was gay.
Warrick broke her hip while on vacation in Greece in 2001 and was thereafter confined to a wheelchair.
Had three children from two of her five marriages.
The January 24, 2005, episode of All My Children (1970) was dedicated "In Loving Memory of Ruth Warrick." With Phoebe's passing, the show finally addressed her husband's Langley's death as Phoebe's last words were reportedly, "Langley is waiting for me." Phoebe's funeral was aired May 12, 2005. The episode featured many of Warrick's most notable performances as flashbacks and included the return of many of the characters who had been heavily involved in her story lines over the years.
Upon her death, her remains were interred at the Church of the Transfiguration in New York City.
Warrick was a member of the Democratic Party, working with the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter on labor and education issues. Upon Carter's 1980 defeat, she sent him a long letter thanking him for his efforts. He replied, telling her that if he had hired her as a speech-writer, he would have been reelected. Warrick had generally liberal political views. In her first years at All My Children (1970), Warrick was flustered by her character's strong right wing politics and support of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, which Warrick personally adamantly opposed.
Best remembered by the public for her starring role as Phoebe Tyler Wallingford on All My Children (1970).
Attended Buddy Ebsen's 84th Birthday Party in 1992.
Was very good friends with Buddy Ebsen.
Was born and raised in the same city as Jane Wyman.
Her first soap opera was not Guiding Light (1952). She had been performing in soap operas, on radio, since she was a little girl.
Lived in St. Joseph, Missouri, with her family, until she was 16. At that time, her family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, which is 55 miles South of St. Joseph.
Attended Central High School in St. Joseph, Missouri, for Warrick's first 2 years, from 1930 to 1932.
Ruth Warrick died on January 15, 2005. After Warrick's death, the day after the 2005 Academy Award ceremony, ex-All My Children (1970) co-star, Kelly Ripa, expressed her outrage on Live with Kelly and Ryan (1988), that Warrick had not been included in this annual memorial tribute.
Ruth Warrick died on January 15, 2005. After her death, her family put much of her estate in an auction.
A theater enthusiast, since she was 16 years old.
The reason her mother named her Ruth was because her mother didn't want her to have any other nicknames.
A radio soap opera buff.
Attended Southwest High School in Kansas City, Missouri, for Warrick's last 2 years, and she graduated there in 1934.
Before she was a successful actress, she once wrote a song for Greta Garbo.
When her father returned home, after World War I, at that time, he lost his job, her grandfather (on her father's side) at the time was working in the grain elevator business, who was also working with her father. This was one of the reasons why her family moved to St. Joseph, Missouri, just before Warrick was born.
Because of her father's work, Warrick's family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1932.
Met new soap star Helen Wagner, on the set of As the World Turns (1956). Warrick played Wagner's television sister, for 4 years, where the lifelong friendship began, for almost 50 years, until Warrick's passing on January 15, 2005.
She worked as a writer/producer and director of the play 'The Follies,' when she was in high school.
Within a year, her father had 23 jobs, during World War I.
Attended a summer school to take a typing class, because Warrick didn't want to waste time where she wasn't learning something.
Her mother, Annie L. Warrick, had rented the little house in St. Joseph, Missouri, when Ruth was age 7. The house didn't have a furnace, no heat in the bedrooms, and had only one potbelly stove in the dining room.
By writing an essay in high school called 'Prevention and Cure of Tuberculosis,' Warrick won a contest to be Miss Jubilesta, Missouri's paid ambassador to New York City.
Began her career as a contract player for RKO in 1941.
Her acting mentor was the late Una Merkel.
Warrick relocated to Santa Monica, California, from St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1925, aged 9 through 12 - in 1928 - when she moved back to St. Joseph, she would go to the matinée movies, on a Saturday.
Survived by three children, a grandson and six great-grandchildren.
As a young girl, Warrick had been spellbound at her church by the stories of returning foreign missionaries, and for some time she considered becoming one.
Her twice ex-husband, Carl Neubert, died in 1998, at the age of 90.
Moved to New York City and had lived there, -off and -on, between 1937 to 2005.
When Warrick was asked to make any contributions, during World War II. She did everything including hospital tours, singing, a few camp shows, speaking and memorizing words to songs.
Before she was a successful actress, she starred in a radio show in Kansas City, Missouri, for CBS.
Was featured as the regular on the radio show 'The Voice of America.'.
Met Orson Welles when she was doing CBS Radio, in 1938.
Was pregnant while doing Citizen Kane (1941).
Once owned a house in Malibu.
Left her role on Guiding Light (1952), for one season, to spend more time with her family.
Before she was a successful actress, she set up bathing beauty contests, in various small towns.
Was one of the people to attend the 1939 New York's World Fair, in fact, she went to see the RCA exhibit.
Lifelong friend of Agnes Nixon. Warrick met the unfamiliar writer on Guiding Light (1952), before Nixon hired her for Phoebe Tyler Wallingford on All My Children (1970).
Created the role of Phoebe Tyler Wallingford on All My Children (1970).
When Warrick starred on both soap operas, Guiding Light (1952) and As the World Turns (1956), Procter and Gamble put her children through college.
Met Agnes Moorehead at the Mercy Theater, and they became friends until her death in 1974.
Often had lunch with Henry Jaglom.
When Warrick was attending Southwest High School, she participated in the school play and took writing class.
Had a photographic memory.
When Warrick was only 4, she used to sing in front of 500 elderly people.
Every summer, when Warrick was with her grandparents, they would have an ice cream social in the park.
Had actually asked Agnes Nixon for the lead role of Phoebe Tyler Wallingford on All My Children (1970), after relocating herself from Malibu to New York City.
Her ex-All My Children (1970) co-star, Susan Lucci, was her caregiver, during Warrick's last days.
A houseguest of Rosemary Prinz.
According to her ex-All My Children (1970) co-star, Susan Lucci, she said in an interview Warrick would frequently finish a day's work, fly to a charity event and then be back on the set the next day.
Warrick's father, Fred R. Warrick, had a 5 ft. Harvard bookshelf of literature.
Received the role of Hannah Cord in Peyton Place (1964), through a friend who knew the casting director of 20th Century Fox.
A movie buff.
She was the second to last actor appearing in Citizen Kane (1941) who remained alive. The actor Sonny Bupp who played Warrick's young son, Kane III, outlived her by another 2 years and was the final remaining living cast member from Warrick's death in 2005 until his death in 2007.
When she starred in All My Children (1970) for the first season, she received a lesser salary.
When Warrick auditioned for the part in Citizen Kane (1941), she read with Welles. She said that because she was so new to the acting business, she was not aware that it was very rare to actually read with the star.
Her family donated her 2004 Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award, to a museum in her hometown of Saint Joseph, Missouri.
Had appeared in nearly 20 films.
She celebrated her 80th birthday by attending a special screening of Citizen Kane to a packed, standing-room-only audience, to which she spoke afterward [29 June 1996].
While having lunch with Rosemary Prinz, Warrick was amongst the first of the actresses to take on the lead role on All My Children (1970). She played that character for 35 years, until her death in 2005.
One time, when Warrick appeared in Irene, with Debbie Reynolds on Broadway but wasn't seated at the head table for the opening-night party. She threw a tantrum, that started in the ladies' room and carried into the hall.
For 9 years, she lived in Los Angeles, California, to star in movies.
Both she and her mother lived on her grandparent's farm, Quiet Glen.
At Central High School, she was not allowed to participate in the school play.
Mother of Jon, Karen and Tim.
Had idolized her optimistic, flamboyant father, but was never close to her stern, proper mother.
In school, to please her parents, Warrick pushed herself to become a straight A student.
Her one-bedroom Park Avenue apartment was an explosion of greens and purples, dominated by a huge still life by artist/jeans queen Gloria Vanderbilt.
In 1971, she published a single with the song, "41,000 Plus 4 The Ballad of the Kent State Massacre," as an homage to Sandra Lee Scheuer, William Knox Schroeder, Jeffrey Glenn Miller and Allison Beth Krause, the four students killed at Kent State University during a demonstration against the Vietnam war.
Best friend of former All My Children (1970) co-star, Susan Lucci, for 35 years.
She received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was on hand to receive her Daytime Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2004.
Ruth Warrick's character, Phoebe Tyler Wallingford, ranked #22 on the All-Time list of longest-serving soap opera actors in the United States.
Comedian Carol Burnett was said to be one of her fans, by watching All My Children (1970), and later co-starred opposite Warrick.

Personal Quotes (3)

"We have become the phenomenon of our time, the best game in town. In one week, we play to an audience larger than Clark Gable played to in his whole career. You say 'Phoebe,' and 50 million people know what you mean. Once you grab hold of one of those jobs, you don't want to let go." - in 1985 referring to her role on the soap opera All My Children (1970).
"It is as if the imaginary girl who was Kane's wife had grown into the woman who influences so many lives in the imaginary world of Pine Valley. Since Emily's character owes much to the compelling hand of Orson Welles, so indirectly, must Phoebe's." - referring to her two most famous character roles as Emily Kane in Citizen Kane (1941) and Phoebe Tyler in All My Children (1970).
I like to shock and surprise people. When it's all in good fun, of course.

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