Albert S. Ruddy

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Albert S. Ruddy
Born (1930-03-28) March 28, 1930 (age 92)
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
OccupationFilm producer
Years active1965–present
Spouse(s)Françoise Ruddy (divorced)
Wanda McDaniel
(m. 1981)
Children2

Albert Stotland Ruddy (born March 28, 1930) is a Canadian-American film and television producer.[1] He is known for producing The Godfather (1972) and Million Dollar Baby (2004), both of which won him the Academy Award for Best Picture, as well as co-creating the CBS sitcom Hogan's Heroes (1965–1971).

Early life[edit]

Albert S. Ruddy was born to Ruth (née Ruddy) Hertz and Hy Stotland,[2][3] a Jewish family[4] in Montreal, and raised in New York City and in Miami Beach, Florida, by his mother.[5] Ruddy attended Brooklyn Technical High School before earning a scholarship to allow him to study chemical engineering at City College of New York. In 1956, he graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in architectural design.[6][3]

Career[edit]

Ruddy then worked designing homes for a construction company, in Hackensack, New Jersey.[7]

After a short stint at Warner Brothers, brought about by a chance meeting with studio chief Jack L. Warner,[7] 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 film completed, Ruddy co-created Hogan's Heroes (CBS, 1965–1971),[8] which was a critical and commercial 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, an adaptation of Mario Puzo's novel. The film was a massive success both commercially and critically, and is regarded as one of the best films ever made, as well as a landmark of the gangster genre.[9] The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won three – including Ruddy's first of two Oscars for Best Picture.

In 1974, Ruddy produced an adaptation of his own story treatment as The Longest Yard. The film, which has been described as "the first successful modern sports movie",[10] 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.[citation needed] It remains one of director Quentin Tarantino's favorite movies.[11]

In 1976, he produced a western made-for-TV movie called The Macahans, which was subsequently developed into the series How the West Was Won (1977–1979).

For some time, Ruddy worked with writer-philosopher Ayn Rand to produce her 1957 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]

Ruddy then started to work with Hong Kong's Golden Harvest, producing The Cannonball Run (1981), a hugely successful film at the box office that received mixed reviews by critics. However today, this Burt Reynolds film enjoys a devoted following from followers of the Rat Pack.[citation needed] 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, and featured a guest appearance by Frank Sinatra.[12] The film also features a rare on-screen cameo by Ruddy in a scene spoofing his film The Godfather, and including Godfather supporting actors Alex Rocco and Abe Vigoda.

In 1985, after leaving Golden Harvest, Ruddy and Andre Morgan set up the Ruddy Morgan Organization which produces films budgeted for the $8.5-16 million range, and arranges the financing and developing of "high-visibility" pictures the company is placing up.[13][14]

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.[15] On March 5, 2022, Amazon, MGM Television, and 72 Films announced a James Bond reality show.[16]

In 2004, he produced Million Dollar Baby,[17] 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.[18]

In 2021, his daughter Alexandra Ruddy became co-principal at Albert S. Ruddy Productions.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Ruddy was originally married to and divorced from Francoise Ruddy,[20] who was also Jewish.[21][22] 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. Since 1980, McDaniel has been an executive vice president for the Italian designer Giorgio Armani, where she is credited with inventing the red carpet[citation needed] and helping to make Armani into a fashion icon.[23]

In the 2022 biographical drama miniseries The Offer, which dramatizes the making of The Godfather and is executive produced by Ruddy, he is played by Miles Teller.[24]

Filmography[edit]

He was a producer in all films unless otherwise noted.

Film[edit]

Year Film Credit Notes Ref.
1965 Wild Seed
1970 Little Fauss and Big Halsy
1971 Making It
1972 The Godfather
1974 The Longest Yard Also story
1975 Coonskin
1978 Matilda
1981 Death Hunt Executive producer
The Cannonball Run
1982 Megaforce
1984 Lassiter
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 and story
2006 Cloud 9 Direct-to-video
2008 Camille
2014 Sabotage Executive producer
2019 A Gunman's Curse
2021 Cry Macho
TBA
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
Soundtrack
Year Film Role
1965 Wild Seed Lyrics: "That's Why"
Thanks
Year Film Role
2011 Blur Special thanks

Television[edit]

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
2022 The Offer Executive producer
TBA
The Bellinis Executive producer Television pilot
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
2022 The Offer based on experience of making 'The Godfather'
TBA
The Bellinis Television pilot
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
Thanks
Year Title Role
2012 Hatfields & McCoys Special thanks

Awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[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. ^ Riggs, Thomas, ed. (2009). "Albert S. Ruddy". Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. Gale In Context: Biography. 90. ISBN 9781414457109. OCLC 733291253. Gale K1609025124.
  3. ^ a b "Ruddy, Albert S. 1934- (Al Ruddy)". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  4. ^ Rieber, Robert W. (Nov 18, 2013). Film, Television and the Psychology of the Social Dream. Springer. p. 94. ISBN 978-1461471745.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Seal, Mark. Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli. ISBN 9781982158590. Wikidata Q112190722.
  7. ^ a b Pileggi, Nicholas (15 August 1971). "The Making of "The Godfather"—Sort of a Home Movie". The New York Times Magazine. The Stacks Reader. ISSN 0028-7822. Archived from the original (Archive) on 11 December 2020. Retrieved 8 June 2022. According to a brief biography put out by Paramount, Ruddy's knowledge and enthusiasm so impressed the Warner Brothers president, Jack L. Warner, at a party, that Warner hired Ruddy for an executive post on the spot. At the time of this fortuitous meeting, Ruddy was working for a construction company in Hackensack, N.J.
  8. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (March 15, 2013). "'Hogan's Heroes' Rights Won Back By Creators Al Ruddy And Bernard Fein; They're Plotting New Movie". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 30, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
  9. ^ Gambino, Megan (January 31, 2012). "What is The Godfather Effect?". Smithsonian. Archived from the original on September 10, 2018. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  10. ^ Simmons, Bill. "Sports Guy's Top Sports Movies: No. 3". ESPN. Retrieved June 16, 2022.
  11. ^ Spitz, Mark. "They don't make them like Ralph Bakshi anymore: "Now, animators don't have ideas. They just like to move things around"". Salon. Salon.com, LLC. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  12. ^ Kilday, Gregg (15 May 2008). "Film vets Ruddy, Grodnik, Hamilton hang Crazy Max shingle". Hollywood Reporter. Gale General OneFile: Prometheus Global Media LLC. 404 (43): 11. ISSN 0018-3660. The Oscar-winning Ruddy (Million Dollar Baby) is no stranger to action films, also having produced The Cannonball Run and its sequel.
  13. ^ Frook, John Evan (1993-11-19). "Ruddy/Morgan team to lens 'Americal' pic". Variety. Retrieved 2021-09-21.
  14. ^ "Ruddy-Morgan Has Three Pix For '87 From Diverse Coin". Variety. 1987-02-25. p. 293.
  15. ^ "Films: The Nineties". www.liner-notes.com. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  16. ^ Ravindran, Manori (25 March 2022). "James Bond Competition Show Greenlit at Amazon's Prime Video With Producers Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original (Written and audio article) on 26 March 2022. Retrieved 9 June 2022. Amazon's Prime Video has greenlit its first TV show based on the iconic British spy with 007's Road to a Million, a Bond-style spin on a race around the world.
  17. ^ Mirch, Jason. "Monday Motivation: Two Oscars Stories You Never Heard". Stage 32. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  18. ^ Cieply, Michael (November 1, 2015). "Producer of 'The Godfather' Lands Rights to 'Atlas Shrugged' Novel". The New York Times. eISSN 1553-8095. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  19. ^ "California Business Search" (Corporation - Statement of Information). California Secretary of State. California Secretary of State. 3 February 2022. Retrieved 8 June 2022. The California Business Search provides access to available information for corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships of record with the California Secretary of State, with free PDF copies of over 17 million imaged business entity documents, including the most recent imaged Statements of Information filed for Corporations and Limited Liability Companies.
  20. ^ Zaitz, Les (April 14, 2011). "25 years after Rajneeshee commune collapsed, truth spills out - Part 1 of 5". The Oregonian. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  21. ^ "Obituaries". Jewish Journal. October 29, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  22. ^ "Osho World: Ma Prem Hasya". August 19, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ Spindler, Amy M. (August 29, 1995). "Fashion Hitches a Ride With Hollywood's Shining Stars". The New York Times. eISSN 1553-8095. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  24. ^ "The Offer review -- the making of The Godfather makes for hit-and-miss TV; The splashy inside Hollywood drama on the making of The Godfather is a patchy, overlong series that is best when it sticks to the script". The Guardian. UK. 27 April 2022. eISSN 1756-3224. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Gale A701818500.
  25. ^ Canby, Vincent (1981-06-20). "Movie Review: The Cannonball Run". The New York Times. eISSN 1553-8095. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Archived from the original on 2015-05-24. Retrieved 2012-01-30.

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