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Ruth Hussey

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Occupation  Actress
Years active  1937–1973

Name  Ruth Hussey
Role  Actress
Ruth Hussey Ruth HusseyAnnex
Full Name  Ruth Carol Hussey
Born  October 30, 1911 (1911-10-30) Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Cause of death  complications of an appendectomy
Alma mater  Brown University University of Michigan
Died  April 19, 2005, Newbury Park, California, United States
Spouse  Bob Longenecker (m. 1942–2002)
Buried  Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park, Westlake Village, California, United States
Children  John Longenecker, Rob Longenecker, Mary Hendrix
Movies  The Philadelphia Story, The Uninvited, Northwest Passage, Tennessee Johnson, The Facts of Life
Similar People  Lewis Allen, Philip Barry, George Cukor, Donald Ogden Stewart, King Vidor


Ruth Carol Hussey (October 30, 1911 – April 19, 2005) was an American actress best known for her Academy Award-nominated role as photographer Elizabeth Imbrie in The Philadelphia Story.


Ruth Hussey RUTH HUSSEY ACTRESS Best Known for Her Role in the

Early life

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Hussey was born in Providence, Rhode Island, October 30, 1911. She was also known as Ruth Carol O'Rourke. Her father, George R. Hussey, died of the Spanish flu in 1918 when she was seven years old. Ten years later, her mother, Julia Corbett Hussey, married a family friend, William O'Rourke, who had worked at the family's mail-order silver enterprise. She grew up at 179 Ontario Street. She had an older brother, Robert, and a younger sister, Betty.

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Following graduation from the Providence public schools, she went on to study art at Pembroke College, graduating in 1936. She never landed a role in any of the plays for which she tried out at Pembroke. She then received a degree in theatre from the University of Michigan School of Drama, and worked as an actress with a summer stock company in Michigan for two seasons. She also attended Boston Business College and Michigan School of Drama.


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After working as an actress in summer stock, she returned to Providence and worked as a radio fashion commentator on a local station. She wrote the ad copy for a Providence clothing store and read it on the radio each afternoon. She was encouraged by a friend to try out for acting roles at the Providence Playhouse. The theater director there turned her down, saying the roles were cast only out of New York City. Later that week, she journeyed to New York City and on her first day there, she signed with a talent agent who booked her for a role in a play starting the next day back at the Providence Playhouse.

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In New York City, she also worked for a time as a model. She then landed a number of stage roles with touring companies. Dead End toured the country in 1937 and the last theater on the road trip was at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, where she was spotted on opening night by MGM talent scout Billy Grady. MGM signed her to a players contract and she made her film debut in 1937. She quickly became a leading lady in MGM's "B" unit, usually playing sophisticated, worldly roles. For a 1940 "A" picture role, she was nominated for an Academy Award for her turn as Elizabeth Imbrie, the cynical magazine photographer and almost-girlfriend of James Stewart's character Macaulay Connor in The Philadelphia Story. In 1941, exhibitors voted her the third-most popular new star in Hollywood.

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Hussey also worked with Robert Taylor in Flight Command (1940), Robert Young in Northwest Passage (1940) and H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941), Van Heflin in Tennessee Johnson (1942), Ray Milland in The Uninvited (1944), and Alan Ladd in The Great Gatsby (1949).

In 1946, she starred on Broadway in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play State of the Union. Her 1949 role in Goodbye, My Fancy on Broadway caused a Billboard reviewer to write: "Miss Hussey brings a splendid aliveness and warmth to the lovely congresswoman...."

She filled in for Jean Arthur in the 1955 Lux Radio Theater presentation of Shane, playing Miriam Start, alongside original film stars Alan Ladd and Van Heflin.

In 1960, she co-starred in The Facts of Life with Bob Hope. Hussey was also active in early television drama.

Personal life

On August 9, 1942, Hussey married talent agent and radio producer C. Robert "Bob" Longenecker (1909–2002) at Mission San Antonio de Pala in north San Diego County, California. Longenecker was born and raised in Lititz, Pennsylvania. They raised three children: George Robert Longenecker, John William Longenecker, and Mary Elizabeth Hendrix.

Following the birth of her children, Hussey focused much of her attention on family activities, and in 1964, designed a family cabin in the mountain community of Lake Arrowhead, California. In 1967, she was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.

In 1977, she and her husband moved from their Brentwood family home to Rancho Carlsbad in Carlsbad, California. Her husband died in 2002 shortly after celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.

Her son John Longenecker works as a cinematographer and film director. He won an Academy Award for producing a live-action short film The Resurrection of Broncho Billy (1970).


Hussey died April 19, 2005, at the age of 93, from complications from an appendectomy.

Partial filmography

  • Madame X (1937)
  • Man-Proof (1938)
  • Rich Man, Poor Girl (1938)
  • Spring Madness (1938)
  • Another Thin Man (1939)
  • Maisie (1939)
  • Fast and Furious (1939)
  • Blackmail (1939)
  • The Women (1939)
  • The Philadelphia Story (1940)
  • Susan and God (1940)
  • Flight Command (1940)
  • Free and Easy (1941)
  • Our Wife (1941)
  • Married Bachelor (1941)
  • H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941)
  • Tennessee Johnson (1942)
  • Pierre of the Plains (1942)
  • Tender Comrade (1943)
  • The Uninvited (1944)
  • Marine Raiders (1944)
  • Bedside Manner (1945)
  • I, Jane Doe (1948)
  • The Great Gatsby (1949)
  • Louisa (1950)
  • Mr. Music (1950)
  • That's My Boy (1951)
  • Stars and Stripes Forever (1952)
  • The Lady Wants Mink (1953)
  • The Facts of Life (1960)
  • References

    Ruth Hussey Wikipedia