Clifford in a publicity still from Who's Who on the Screen (c. 1920)
February 17, 1900|
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, U.S.
|Died||November 30, 1998
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California. U.S.
|Resting place||Holy Cross Cemetery|
|Spouse(s)||James A. Cornelius (m. 1924; div. 1938)|
Ruth Clifford (February 17, 1900 – November 30, 1998) was an American actress of leading roles in silent films, whose career lasted from silent days into the television era.
A native of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, she attended St. Mary's Seminary in Narragansett, Rhode Island, then, following her mother's death in 1911, came to Los Angeles as a teenager to live with her actress aunt. She got work as an extra and began her career at 15 at Universal, in fairly substantial roles.
By her mid-twenties, she was playing leads and second leads, including the role of Abraham Lincoln's lost love, Ann Rutledge, in The Dramatic Life of Abraham Lincoln (1924). But sound pictures found her roles diminishing, and throughout the next three decades she played smaller and smaller parts.
She was a favorite of director John Ford (they played bridge together), who used her in eight films, but rarely in substantial roles. She was also, for a time, the voice of Walt Disney's Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck. She lived long enough to find herself in demand for documentary interviews on the subject of early Hollywood.
- Behind the Lines (1916)
- Eternal Love (1917)
- A Kentucky Cinderella (1917)
- The Savage (1917)
- The Kaiser, the Beast of Berlin (1918)
- The Amazing Woman (1920)
- The Invisible Ray (1920)
- The Face on the Bar-Room Floor (1923)
- Truxton King (1923)
- April Showers (1923)
- Ponjola (1923)
- The Dramatic Life of Abraham Lincoln (1924)
- As Man Desires (1925)
- Her Husband's Secret (1925)
- The Phantom of the Opera (1925) (uncredited)
- The Show of Shows (1929) (uncredited)
- The Constant Woman (1933)
- Hollywood Boulevard (1936) (uncredited)
- Safety in Numbers (1938)
- It Happened in Flatbush (1942)
- 3 Godfathers (1948)
- Father Was a Fullback (1949) (uncredited)
- Wagon Master (1950)
- The Quiet Man (1952) (uncredited)
- Prince of Players (1955)
- The Searchers (1956) (uncredited)
- The Independent (London), January 5, 1999
- U.S. Census records for 1930, Beverly Hills, California, Sheet 14A
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