Song of the South
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1 item from 2005

Actress Ruth Warrick Dies at 89

18 January 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actress Ruth Warrick, who made her film debut as the first wife of Orson Welles' titular character in Citizen Kane but became known to generations as daytime drama diva Phoebe Tyler of All My Children, died at her home in New York on Saturday of complications from pneumonia; she was 89. The actress had been in failing health for the past few years, but was well enough to make an appearance earlier this month at the 35th anniversary celebration for All My Children, albeit for a short period of time in a wheelchair. Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, the young actress made her way to New York after graduating from college, and found herself a place in Orson Welles' Mercury Theater. Welles later hand-picked her for her auspicious screen debut as Emily Norton Kane in 1941's Citizen Kane, citing her fresh-faced, non-Hollywood quality. Roles in 40s films such as The Corsican Brothers, Journey Into Fear, and Song Of The South followed, but by the end of the decade she had settled into supporting roles. However, Warrick found a career resurgence with the nascent medium of television soap operas, and played parts in such shows as Guiding Light, As The World Turns, and Peyton Place (for which she earned her first Emmy nomination). It was for a brand-new soap in 1970 that Warrick earned her place in television history when she originated the role of matriarch Phoebe Tyler Wallingford in All My Children; her scheming, sophisticated, over-the-top character earned her millions of fans as well as two Emmy nominations and a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award. After breaking her hip in 2001, she continued to make sporadic appearances on the show in a wheelchair, continuing her meddlesome ways. Warrick is survived by three children, a grandson and six great-grandchildren. --Prepared by IMDb staff »

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