Albert S. Ruddy

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Albert S. Ruddy
Born (1930-03-28) March 28, 1930 (age 91)
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
OccupationFilm producer
Years active1965–present
Spouse(s)Françoise Ruddy (aka Ma Prem Hasya) (divorced)
Wanda McDaniel
ChildrenJohn Ruddy and Alexandra Ruddy

Albert Stotland Ruddy (born March 28, 1930) is a Canadian-born film and television producer.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Albert S. Ruddy was born to a Jewish family[2] in Montreal and raised in New York City and in Miami Beach, Florida, by his mother, Ruth Ruddy Hertz. 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 worked designing homes in the construction industry on the East Coast.

After a short stint at Warner Brothers, brought about by a chance meeting with studio chief Jack L. 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 (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 sitcom 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".[3] The movie was very successful financially and was subsequently remade twice with Ruddy as executive producer (as Mean Machine (2001) and as The Longest Yard (2005)).

The following year, Ruddy produced director and animator Ralph Bakshi's satirical film Coonskin (1975). The film was extremely controversial and initially received negative reviews, but it would eventually earn critical acclaim and develop a cult following with cinema devotees around the globe. It remains one of director Quentin Tarantino's favorite movies, which he regularly screens.

In 1976, he produced a television western called The Machans, which was subsequently developed into the series How the West Was Won (1977–1979).

Although hugely successful at the box office, The Cannonball Run (1981) received mixed reviews by critics. However today, this Burt Reynolds classic is a beloved film that enjoys regular reruns and a devoted following from followers of the famed Rat Pack. Ruddy next produced two action films, Death Hunt (1981) starring Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson, and Megaforce (1982). Ruddy returned to produce Cannonball Run II (1984), which was another commercial success for the Rat Pack prominent cast, which featured a guest appearance by Frank Sinatra.

For some time, Ruddy worked with writer-philosopher Ayn Rand to produce her epic 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. Rand demanded unprecedented final script approval, which Ruddy agreed to. However, her friends pointed out that Ruddy could shoot the approved script but still leave all her speeches on the cutting room floor. Rand asked for final editing approval, which neither Ruddy nor the director had the power to give her, so she responded by withdrawing her support from the film and vowing to ensure that Ruddy was never involved in any adaptation of her novel.[1] In the late 1980s, he and Andre Morgan set up the Ruddy/Morgan Organization.[4]

In the early 1990s, he helped create the successful series Walker, Texas Ranger. Also in 1992, he licensed the rights from Kevin McClory to make a James Bond television show, but EON Productions blocked it, and winning the suit, ended any hopes of a television show.[5]

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.

In late 2015, it was announced that he had acquired the rights to Rand's Atlas Shrugged and would be making a movie for worldwide release.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Ruddy was originally married to and divorced from Francoise Ruddy,[7] who was also Jewish.[8][9] This was prior to her name change to Ma Prem Hasya as part of the Rajneeshpuram Commune in Central Oregon. Francoise saw him through the production of "The Godfather," even lending her name to the production company title.

Ruddy is currently married to Wanda McDaniel, the mother of his two children, John Ruddy and Alexandra Ruddy. Currently, she serves as the Executive Vice President for the Italian design legend Giorgio Armani.[10]

Fictional references[edit]

Ruddy appears to have been the source name for Edward George Ruddy, the president of the Union Broadcasting System, in the Paddy Chayefsky film Network (1976).


He was a producer in all films unless otherwise noted.


Year Film Credit Notes Ref.
1965 Wild Seed
1970 Little Fauss and Big Halsy
1971 Making It
1972 The Godfather
1974 The Longest Yard
1975 Coonskin
1978 Matilda
1981 Death Hunt Executive producer
The Cannonball Run
1982 Megaforce
1984 Cannonball Run II
1989 Farewell to the King
Speed Zone Executive producer
1990 Impulse
1992 Ladybugs
1994 Bad Girls
The Scout
1996 Heaven's Prisoners
2001 Mean Machine Executive producer
2004 Million Dollar Baby
2005 The Longest Yard Executive producer
2006 Cloud 9 Direct-to-video
2008 Camille
2014 Sabotage Executive producer
2019 A Gunman's Curse
2021 Cry Macho
The Cannonball Run Executive producer
As writer
Year Film Notes
1974 The Longest Yard
1978 Matilda
1982 Megaforce
1984 Cannonball Run II
1994 Bad Girls
2005 The Longest Yard
2006 Cloud 9 Direct-to-video
Art director
Year Film
1955 The Beast with a Million Eyes
Year Film Song
1965 Wild Seed Lyrics: "That's Why"
Year Film Role
2011 Blur Special thanks


Year Title Credit Notes
1971 Thunderguys Television film
1976 How the West Was Won
1977 The Godfather Saga
1981 Stockers Television film
1991 Miracle in the Wilderness Executive producer Television film
1993 Walker, Texas Ranger Executive producer
1997 Married to a Stranger Executive producer Television film
1998 Martial Law Executive producer
2000 Running Mates Executive producer Television film
2002 Georgetown Television film
Flatland Executive producer
TBA The Bellinis Executive producer Television pilot
The Offer Executive producer
As writer
Year Title Notes
1963 The Lloyd Bridges Show
1965−71 Hogan's Heroes
1976 How the West Was Won
Revenge for a Rape Television film
1993−2001 Walker, Texas Ranger
2005 Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire Television film
TBA The Bellinis Television pilot
The Offer
Miscellaneous crew
Year Title Role
1977−79 How the West Was Won Developed for television by
As an actor
Year Title Role Notes
2000 Running Mates Fatcat Television film
Year Title Role
2012 Hatfields & McCoys Special thanks


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 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.
  2. ^ Rieber, Robert W. (Nov 18, 2013). Film, Television and the Psychology of the Social Dream. Springer. p. 94. ISBN 978-1461471745.
  3. ^ Simmons, Bill. "Sports Guy's Top Sports Movies: No. 3".
  4. ^ Frook, John Evan; Frook, John Evan (1993-11-19). "Ruddy/Morgan team to lens 'Americal' pic". Variety. Retrieved 2021-09-21.
  5. ^ "Films: The Nineties". Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  6. ^ Cieply, Michael (November 1, 2015). "Producer of 'The Godfather' Lands Rights to 'Atlas Shrugged' Novel". The New York Times. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  7. ^ Oregon Live: "25 years after Rajneeshee commune collapsed, truth spills out -- Part 1 of 5" by Les Zaitz April 14, 2011
  8. ^
  9. ^ Osho World: "Ma Prem Hasya" August 19, 2014
  10. ^ New York Times: "Fashion Hitches a Ride With Hollywood's Shining Stars" By AMY M. SPINDLER August 29, 1995
  11. ^ Canby, Vincent (1981-06-20). "Movie Review: The Cannonball Run". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-30.

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