Ruth White (actress)

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For other people named Ruth White, see Ruth White (disambiguation).
Ruth White
Ruth emmy 5x5.jpg
Born (1914-04-24)April 24, 1914
Perth Amboy, New Jersey, U.S.
Died December 3, 1969(1969-12-03) (aged 55)
Perth Amboy, New Jersey, U.S.
Cause of death
Years active 1946–1969

Ruth Patricia White (April 24, 1914 – December 3, 1969) was an American actress who worked in theatre, film, and television. She was an Emmy Award and Obie Award winner and also a Tony Award nominee.

Early career[edit]

A lifelong resident of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, White graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Literature from New Jersey College for Women, now Douglass Residential College, Rutgers University in 1935. While pursuing her acting career in nearby New York City, she taught acting and drama at Seton Hall University. During this period, she also studied acting with Maria Ouspenskaya.[1]

Career hiatus and resurgence[edit]

White's career was delayed in the late 1950s while she nursed her ailing mother. During her mother's illness White gained weight and looked older than her age. However, she managed to recover and appeared in off-Broadway plays of Samuel Beckett ("Happy Days") and Edward Albee ("Malcolm" and "Box"). White also earned a Tony Award nomination in 1968 for her role in Harold Pinter's "The Birthday Party."[1]

In 1964, she won an Emmy Award for her role in the Hallmark Hall of Fame TV Movie Little Moon of Alban.[2] By the end of the 1960s, she had become one of New York's most highly praised and in demand character actresses, and appeared in Midnight Cowboy, Hang 'Em High and No Way To Treat A Lady.[1]


White died suddenly of cancer on December 3, 1969. She is interred with her brothers Charles White and Richard White in the White Family Plot at Saint Mary's Cemetery in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.[1] Her final film role was in The Pursuit of Happiness, released two years after her death.

Selected filmography[edit]

Selected Television Credits[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Ruth White at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1416. ISBN 0-345-45542-8. 

External links[edit]