Wesley Ruggles (1889 - 1972)

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Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Death: Died in Santa Monica, CA, USA
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About Wesley Ruggles

Oscar-nominated motion picture director Wesley Ruggles was an actor in stock when he entered films in 1914. A director from 1918 to 1946, he had an uneven career, enjoying his best period in the late 20s (Silk Stalkings) and in the early 30s (Cimarron and I'm No Angel). Ruggles also produced during the 1930s and 40s. He was the first of seven husbands of actress Arline Judge.

He was born on June 11, 1889 in Los Angeles, California. His younger brother was actor Charles Ruggles. He began his career in 1914 as an actor, appearing in a dozen or so silent films, on occasion with Charles Chaplin. In 1917, he turned his attention to directing, making more than 50 mostly forgettable films — including a silent film version of Edith Wharton's novel The Age of Innocence (1924) — before he won acclaim with Cimarron in 1931. The adaptation of Edna Ferber's novel Cimarron, about homesteaders settling in the prairies of Oklahoma, was the first Western to win an Academy Award as Best Picture.

Although Ruggles followed this success with the drama No Man of Her Own with Barbara Stanwyck (1932) and the Mae West comedy I'm No Angel (1933), few of his later films were in any way memorable, and his career was on the downslide when he teamed with the Rank Organisation in 1946 to produce and direct London Town with Sid Field and Petula Clark, based on a story he wrote. The film - British cinema's first attempt at a technicolor musical extravaganza - is notable as being one of the biggest critical and commercial failures in that country's film history. Ironically, Ruggles had been hired to helm it because as an American, it was thought, he was better equipped to handle a musical - despite the fact that nothing in his past had prepared him to work in the genre. It proved to be his last film. (A truncated version was released in the States under the title My Heart Goes Crazy by United Artists in 1953.)

Ruggles died in 1972 in Santa Monica and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

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Wesley Ruggles's Timeline

1889
June 11, 1889
Los Angeles, CA, USA
1931
October 15, 1931
Age 42
1937
April 9, 1937
Age 47
1972
January 8, 1972
Age 82
Santa Monica, CA, USA
1972
Age 82
Glendale, CA, USA
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