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The Actress
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The Actress (1953) More at IMDbPro »

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The Actress -- True story of Ruth Gordons early struggles on the road to stage stardom.


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Down 27% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Ruth Gordon (screen play)
Ruth Gordon (from: her stage play "Years Ago")
View company contact information for The Actress on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 September 1953 (USA) See more »
There's hope and heart-ache in the adventures of a stage-struck daughter!
Former seaman Clinton Jones now works at a lowly job. His daughter Ruth wants to become an actress.... See more » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Top-notch performances..... See more (22 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Spencer Tracy ... Clinton Jones

Jean Simmons ... Ruth Gordon Jones

Teresa Wright ... Annie Jones

Anthony Perkins ... Fred Whitmarsh

Ian Wolfe ... Mr. Bagley
Kay Williams ... Hazel Dawn

Mary Wickes ... Emma Glavey
Norma Jean Nilsson ... Anna
Dawn Bender ... Katherine
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Erville Alderson ... Mike McGrath (uncredited)

Jackie Coogan ... Inopportune (uncredited)
Adolph Faylauer ... Spectator at Show (uncredited)

Robert Fuller ... Dancer (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Spectator at Show (uncredited)
Louis Mason ... Mr. Sparrow (uncredited)
Ellen Morgan ... (uncredited)
Clark Ross ... Spectator at Show (uncredited)

Directed by
George Cukor 
Writing credits
Ruth Gordon (screen play)

Ruth Gordon (from: her stage play "Years Ago")

Produced by
Lawrence Weingarten .... producer
Cinematography by
Harold Rosson (director of photography)
Film Editing by
George Boemler (film editor)
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Arthur Lonergan 
Set Decoration by
Emile Kuri (set decorations)
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Walter Plunkett (costumes designed by)
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist
William Tuttle .... makeup creator
Production Management
William Kaplan .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Greenwood .... assistant director
Carl 'Major' Roup .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording supervisor
Special Effects by
Warren Newcombe .... special effects
Music Department
Bronislau Kaper .... musical director
Robert Franklyn .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Max Gordon .... play: "Years Ago" presented on the stage by
Hermes Pan .... choreographer (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Australia:G (TV rating) | Finland:S | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (certificate #16357)

Did You Know?

Hollywood Reporter news items also include Russ Saunders' acrobatic troupe and stage actress Mary Young in the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed.See more »
Revealing mistakes: In a scene late in the film set in the kitchen, the light fixture over the kitchen table is seen (and heard!) to rise up to allow the camera to pass below it.See more »
Annie Jones:Ruth, why don't you give up this going on the stage business and settle down with a nice man?
Ruth Gordon Jones:Oh, mama, don't be disgusting!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Sobre las olas (Over the Waves)See more »

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Top-notch performances....., 13 February 2010
Author: sdave7596 from United States

"The Actress" released in 1953 by MGM, is a story apparently based on the life of actress Ruth Gordon. Here, a young Jean Simmons plays Ruth, "the actress." Simmons performance runs the gamut of happiness, sadness, and hopefulness -- in other words, just like many young people are. Simmons is obsessed with being an actress and will do anything for her dream. The story makes us ask ourselves: how many of us would sacrifice the life we know to pursue a dream? Anyway, the story is set in early 20th century New England, with Spencer Tracy playing Simmons father and Teresa Wright playing her mother. Tracy plays a stubborn and somewhat cantankerous role, a man hardened by life, and it just may be one of Tracy's finest performances. Wright plays the supportive mother to Simmons, although in reality Wright was only in her 30's here -- a good actress pushed prematurely into matronly roles. Both Ruth and her mother are afraid to tell Tracy about her acting ambitions, thinking he will hit the roof. Surprisingly, he does not, but he thinks she is not ready to be an actress and wants her to finish her education. One gets the impression that he had his own dreams, cut prematurely by reality -- marriage, children, and a working-class existence. The script is somewhat mundane and drags a bit at times, but the three principle actors are the real reason to watch this film. They do not disappoint. Also look for a young Anthony Perkins playing Simmons awkward boyfriend. This is not a big film, and it has some flaws, but still very much worthwhile.

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