Albert S. Ruddy
|Albert S. Ruddy|
March 28, 1930 |
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Life and career
Ruddy was born in Montreal and raised in New York City with his mother. Ruddy attended Brooklyn Technical High School before earning a scholarship to allow him to study chemical engineering at City College of New York. He graduated from the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California and then he worked in the construction industry on the East Coast.
After a short stint at Warner Brothers, brought about by a chance meeting with Jack Warner, Ruddy moved on to become a programmer trainee at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, California. Returning to entertainment, Ruddy was a television writer at Universal Studios, but left when Marlon Brando Sr., father of the legendary actor, hired him to produce Wild Seed in 1965.
With this one film completed, Ruddy co-created Hogan's Heroes (CBS, 1965–1971), which was a critical success and ran for six seasons. As the show wound down its run, Ruddy returned to films, producing two comedies: Little Fauss and Big Halsy (1970), about two motorcycle racers, and Making It (1971), about a sexually triumphant high school student who beds the gerontophobic wife of his gym teacher. In 1972, he produced The Godfather and won his first of two Oscars for Best Picture. In 1974, Ruddy produced The Longest Yard, which has been described as "the first successful modern sports movie". The movie was very successful financially and was subsequently remade twice with Ruddy as executive producer (as Mean Machine in 2001 and as The Longest Yard in 2005).
The following year, Ruddy produced director and animator Ralph Bakshi's satirical film Coonskin. The film was extremely controversial and initially received negative reviews, although it would eventually earn critical acclaim and develop a following with African American viewers.
Though successful at the box office, The Cannonball Run (1981) was not well received by critics. Following two financially unsuccessful action flicks, Death Hunt (1981) and Megaforce (1982), Ruddy returned to produce Cannonball Run II (1984), which was not commercially successful. For some time he worked with writer-philosopher Ayn Rand to produce her epic dystopic novel Atlas Shrugged as a movie, the rights to which he purchased in the mid-1970s, but the movie never moved beyond the planning stages, due to the fact that Ruddy had refused to give Rand script approval, and Rand responded by withdrawing her support from the film and vowing to ensure that Ruddy was never involved in any adaptation of her novel.
In the early 2000s, he help create the successful series Walker, Texas Ranger.
In 2004 he produced Million Dollar Baby, which earned him his second Oscar for Best Picture. He shared the award with Clint Eastwood, who had presented Ruddy with the Best Picture Oscar for The Godfather over 30 years earlier.
- Wild Seed (producer) (1965)
- Little Fauss and Big Halsy (producer) (1970)
- Making It (producer) (1971)
- The Godfather (producer) (1972)
- The Longest Yard (producer) (1974)
- Coonskin (producer) (1975)
- The Macahans (TV movie) (producer) (1976)
- Matilda (producer) (1978)
- Death Hunt (executive producer) (1981)
- Stockers (TV movie) (producer) (1981)
- The Cannonball Run (producer) (1981)
- Megaforce (producer) (1982)
- Cannonball Run II (producer) (1984)
- Lassiter (producer) (1984)
- Farewell to the King (producer) (1989)
- Speed Zone! (executive producer) (1989)
- Impulse (producer) (1990)
- Ladybugs (producer) (1992)
- Miracle in the Wilderness (TV movie) (executive producer) (1992)
- Bad Girls (producer) (1994)
- The Scout (producer) (1994)
- Heaven's Prisoners (producer) (1996)
- Married to a Stranger (TV movie) (executive producer) (1997)
- Running Mates (TV movie) (executive producer) (2000)
- Mean Machine (executive producer) (2001)
- Georgetown (TV movie) (producer) (2002)
- Million Dollar Baby (producer) (2004)
- The Longest Yard (executive producer) (2005)
- Cloud 9 (producer) (2006)
- Camille (producer) (2008)
- Won: 1973 Academy Award for Best Picture: The Godfather
- Won: 1973 David di Donatello for Best Foreign Film: The Godfather
- Won: 1973 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama: The Godfather
- Won: 1975 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy: The Longest Yard
- Nomination: 1983 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture: Megaforce
- Nomination: 1984 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture: Cannonball Run II
- Nomination: 1985 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay: Cannonball Run II (with Hal Needham and Harvey Miller)
- Won: 2005 Academy Award for Best Picture: Million Dollar Baby
- McConnell, Scott (2010). 100 Voices:An Oral History of Ayn Rand. New York: New American Library. p. 427. ISBN 978-0-451-23130-7. OCLC 555642813.
- Simmons, Bill. "Sports Guy's Top Sports Movies: No. 3". ESPN.com.
- Canby, Vincent (1981-06-20). "Movie Review: The Cannonball Run". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-30.