from the trailer for the film Strangers on a Train (1951).
December 22, 1922
Lynn, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||September 9, 1999
Laguna Beach, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Mortimer Hall (1950–1956)
Bud Burton Moss (1956–1960)
William Ross Wilson (1976–1999)
She was born in the Boston suburb of Lynn to Lithuanian immigrant parents. As a girl, she pursued her desire to become an actress by enrolling in the prestigious Bishop Lee Dramatic School in Boston. Following completion of her studies Roman headed to Hollywood where she obtained bit parts in several films before being cast in the title role in the thirteen-episode serial Jungle Queen (1945). Married three times, she had one son, Richard, with her first husband, Mortimer Hall.
Andrea Doria Sinking
In July 1956, Ruth was just finishing a trip to Europe with her son Richard, who was three years old at the time. At the port of Cannes, they boarded the Italian passenger liner SS Andrea Doria as First Class passengers for their return trip home to the United States. On the night of July 25, the Andrea Doria collided with the Swedish passenger liner MS Stockholm.
She was in the Belvedere Lounge when the collision happened and immediately took off her high heels and scrambled back to her cabin barefoot to retrieve her sleeping son. Several hours later she and the other passengers were evacuated from the sinking liner. Richard was lowered first into a waiting lifeboat, and before she could follow the lifeboat departed. Ruth stepped into the next boat and was eventually rescued along with 750 other survivors from the Andrea Doria by the French passenger liner SS Ile de France. Richard was rescued by the Stockholm and was reunited with his mother in New York.
She played an important role in the 1949 film, Champion. In one of her most memorable roles, Roman co-starred with Farley Granger and Robert Walker in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Strangers on a Train (1951). In the 1950 film Three Secrets, she played a distraught mother waiting to learn whether or not her child survived an airplane crash. Roman was a notable presence and love interest to James Stewart in the Anthony Mann-directed western The Far Country in 1955. In 1959, she won the Sarah Siddons Award[clarification needed] for her work in Chicago theatre. Although she never achieved the level of success as a leading lady that many predicted, Roman did work regularly in film well into the 1960s, when she began making appearances on television shows. These included a recurring role in NBC's 1965-1966 The Long, Hot Summer, Bonanza (S1/EP10 1959), the 1986 season of Knots Landing and Murder, She Wrote, both on CBS.
She guest starred in NBC's Sam Benedict featuring Edmond O'Brien, ABC's The Bing Crosby Show sitcom and its circus drama, The Greatest Show on Earth starring Jack Palance, I-Spy featuring Robert Culp and Bill Cosby, and others. She also appeared in the early 1960s in both the NBC medical drama The Eleventh Hour and its ABC counterpart,[clarification needed] Breaking Point. She starred in a season 3 episode of Mission: Impossible (1968) titled "The Elixir" as Riva Santel, as well as a season 2 episode of Naked City.
- Jungle Queen (1945 serial)
- Good Sam (1948)
- Champion (1949)
- The Window (1949)
- Beyond the Forest (1949)
- Barricade (1950)
- Colt .45 (1950)
- Three Secrets (1950)
- Dallas (1950)
- Lightning Strikes Twice (1951)
- Strangers on a Train (1951)
- Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951)
- Starlift (1951)
- Invitation (1952)
- Mara Maru (1952)
- Young Man With Ideas (1952)
- Blowing Wild (1953)
- Tanganyika (1954)
- The Shanghai Story (1954)
- The Far Country (1954)
- Down Three Dark Streets (1954)
- The Bottom of the Bottle (1956)
- Great Day in the Morning (1956)
- Rebel in Town (1956)
- 5 Steps to Danger (1957)
- Amère victoire (UK title: Bitter Victory) (1957)
- Desert Desperadoes (1959)
- Look in Any Window (1961)
- Love Has Many Faces (1965)
- The Baby (1973)
- The Killing Kind (1973)
- Impulse (1974)
- The Sacketts (1979)
- Honan, William H. (September 11, 1999). "Ruth Roman, 75, Glamorous and Wholesome Star, Dies". The New York Times.
- Profile, glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com; accessed March 29, 2015.
- Ruth Roman at Walk of Fame
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