Ann Rutherford

Active - 1932 - 1976  |   Born - Nov 2, 1917   |   Died - Jun 11, 2012   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Romance, Western, Mystery

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Brunette Canadian leading lady Ann Rutherford had the sort of button-cute baby face that allowed her to play ingénues into her thirties. The daughter of an opera tenor and a stage actress, Rutherford was performing on-stage from childhood. She was still a teenager when she made her first film appearances as leading lady to such Western heroes as John Wayne and Gene Autry. At MGM from 1937, Ms. Rutherford gained minor stardom as Polly Benedict in the studio's Andy Hardy series. She was allowed to display her perky comic gifts in a trio of 1940s mystery-comedies co-starring Red Skelton (Whistling in the Dark, Whistling in Dixie, Whistling in Brooklyn), and was quite appealing as Careen O'Hara in Gone With the Wind (1939). She closed out her film career in 1950 to devote more time to her private life; for many years, she was the wife of 20th Century Fox executive William Dozier. Ann Rutherford returned to the screen in 1972 to join several fellow MGM alumni in They Only Kill Their Masters, thereafter confining most of her professional activity to her annual appearances as Suzanne Pleshette's mother on TV's The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978).

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