Paul Ryan Rudd

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Paul Ryan Rudd
Born Paul Kenneth Rudd
(1940-05-15)May 15, 1940
Boston, Massachusetts
Died August 12, 2010(2010-08-12) (aged 70)
Greenwich, Connecticut
Other names Paul Rudd (as billed through his career)
Occupation Actor, director, professor
Spouse(s) Joan Mannion (divorced)
Martha Bannerman (married 1983, had 3 children Graeme, Kathryn and Eliza)

Paul Ryan Rudd (born Paul Kenneth Rudd; May 15, 1940 – August 12, 2010[1]) was an American actor, director, and a professor.[2] He appeared as the title character in a 1976 production of Shakespeare's Henry V, opposite Meryl Streep as his love interest. Though best known for his live theatre performances, such as those on Broadway and the New York Shakespeare Festival, he also appeared in the 1978 film The Betsy and on television in the 1975 short-lived series Beacon Hill as Brian Mallory, the scheming Irish chauffeur.[1]


Early life[edit]

He was born in Boston, Massachusetts on May 15, 1940.[3] He attended Boston Latin School and later Assumption Preparatory School,[4] graduating in 1958.[5] He obtained a degree in psychology from Fairfield University.[1]

Originally named Paul Kenneth Rudd, he adopted Ryan as his middle name from his mother’s maiden name, whose name had become Kathryn Rudd after marriage. He studied for the Roman Catholic priesthood but parted with mutual consent from his seminary. At some point, he married Joan Mannion, whom he later divorced.[1]

Acting career[edit]

Rudd worked in entertainment from 1967 through 1986, variously as actor or as director, both on and off-Broadway.[4] He landed his first significant Broadway role in 1974 as Ken, the lobotomized motorcyclist, in The National Health by Peter Nichols.[1] His name was in the credits of the 1975 revival of The Glass Menagerie as the Gentleman Caller. In 1976, he starred as Billy, the tortured young soldier, in David Rabe's Streamers in the original theatre cast. That year, he also played the title role of Henry V with the New York Shakespeare Festival opposite of Meryl Streep as Katherine, whom he marries in the play.[1] He played in Theodore Mann's Romeo and Juliet[6] in the part of Romeo, with Pamela Payton-Wright as Juliet in 1977.[1] In 1979, he starred as Scooper in Bosoms and Neglect.

In 1975, he played Brian Mallory in the short-lived television series Beacon Hill.[1] In 1977, he portrayed John F. Kennedy in the NBC TV movie Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye. He went on to appear in The Betsy, the 1978 film based on the Harold Robbins novel.[1]

Rudd married his second wife, Martha Bannerman, in 1983. They eventually had three children: Graeme, Kathryn and Eliza. During this time, Rudd held guest roles in several television shows, including Hart to Hart, Moonlighting, Knots Landing and Murder, She Wrote.[1][7] In 1986, Rudd retired early from acting to raise his children,[4] moving his family from Los Angeles to Greenwich, Connecticut.[7]

Later years[edit]

Later in life, Rudd taught[2] at local middle schools and high schools – on the subjects of theater, especially Shakespeare, and poetry.[4] He was part of the theatre faculty at Sarah Lawrence College[8] from 1999 to 2006.[7]

Rudd came briefly out of retirement for a 2000 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, playing the double role of Oberon and Theseus–perhaps inspired by a production of the same play he saw at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre while visiting London.[7]

Starting in 2004, Rudd was also a teaching faculty member and associate director of the MFA drama program at the New School for Drama until his death.[7]

He died in his home in Greenwich, Connecticut at the age of 70 from pancreatic cancer.[9]

Critical acclaim[edit]

Clive Barnes, while reviewing Romeo and Juliet, wrote in The New York Times:[1]

"Paul Rudd makes a taut-nerved Romeo, his handsome face either tense with pain or almost consciously relaxed and sunny. He speaks the verse very well, with intelligent nuances, and his ardent death wish at the end is most impressive."


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Fox, Margalit "Paul Ryan Rudd, Actor of Stage and Screen, Dies at 70." The New York Times. August 14, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Rizzo, Frank. Paul Rudd, Actor in '70s, Dies at Age 70 in Greenwich August 13, 2010.
  3. ^ Contemporary theatre, film, and television, Volume 5. Gale Research Company. 1988.
  4. ^ a b c d RIP: Paul Rudd. Boot Hill (blog)
  5. ^ Assumption College Magazine. Volume 5, Number 1. Winter 2007, p. 27
  6. ^ Guernsey,Otis L. Curtain times: the New York theatre, 1965-1987, Part 4. Hal Leonard Corporation, 1987.
  7. ^ a b c d e Chamoff, Lisa. "Actor Paul Ryan Rudd brought Shakespeare alive for Broadway audiences, local students." the Connecticut Post. 04 September 2010. Reprinted in the California Chronicle.
  8. ^ Peterson's Graduate and Professional Programs: The humanities, arts, and social sciences 2007. Edition 41. Peterson's, 2007. ISBN 0-7689-2158-9, ISBN 978-0-7689-2158-8
  9. ^ Notice of Rudd's death

External links[edit]