Ruth Clifford

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Ruth Clifford
Ruth Clifford Who's Who on the Screen.jpg
Clifford in a publicity still from Who's Who on the Screen (c. 1920)
Born (1900-02-17)February 17, 1900
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, U.S.
Died November 30, 1998(1998-11-30) (aged 98)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California. U.S.
Resting place Holy Cross Cemetery
Occupation Actress
Years active 1915–1977
Spouse(s) James A. Cornelius (m. 1924; div. 1938)
Children 1

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.[1]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

She was married to Beverly Hills real-estate developer James Cornelius.[2] They had one child and divorced in 1938.


She died in 1998 at the age of 98.[1] Her interment was in Culver City's Holy Cross Cemetery.

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Independent (London), January 5, 1999
  2. ^ U.S. Census records for 1930, Beverly Hills, California, Sheet 14A

External links[edit]