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Wesley Ruggles Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trivia (3)  | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (3)

Born in Los Angeles, California, USA
Died in Santa Monica, California, USA  (stroke)
Birth NameWesley Heinsch Ruggles

Mini Bio (1)

The younger brother of Hollywood character player Charles Ruggles, Wesley Ruggles spent most of his early years in San Francisco. He attended university there, began a lengthy apprenticeship in stock and musical comedy and then joined Keystone in Hollywood as an actor in 1914 working alongside Syd Chaplin. Moving on to Essanay a year later, he worked briefly alongside Charles Chaplin. In 1917, he graduated to directing after being signed by Vitagraph. During the closing stages of the First World War, he served as a camera operator with the Army Signal Corps. After that it was back to the studios. Unfortunately, he found himself encumbered by routine scripts and such inane assignments as The Leopard Woman (1920). For the next few years his workload included several forgettable Ethel Clayton melodramas and a series of short comedies made at FBO, starring Alberta Vaughn. Following a spell at Universal (1927-29), Wesley had his most productive period at RKO (1931-32) and Paramount (1932-39). At RKO he directed the western blockbuster Cimarron (1931), the most expensive picture made by this studio to date, at $1.4 million. While the costs were not recouped at the box office (its loss of $565,000 was attributed to the effects of the Great Depression), it won the Best Picture Oscar at the Academy Awards. Wesley narrowly lost out to Norman Taurog (for Skippy (1931)) in the directing stakes.

At Paramount, Wesley showed his flair for comedy with Mae West's best-loved film, I'm No Angel (1933), and with three excellent vehicles for Carole Lombard: the romantic drama No Man of Her Own (1932) (co-starring Clark Gable), the entertaining, elegantly-mounted Bolero (1934) (featuring Sally Rand's famous fan dance) and the delightful comedy Een vrouw met fantasie (1937). Moreover, he also handled the quintessential '30s tearjerker Valiant Is the Word for Carrie (1936).

By the early 1940's, his career was on the decline, however. After short-term tenures at Columbia and MGM, he was signed by J. Arthur Rank as producer/director for the lavish British Technicolor musical London Town (1946). This picture turned out to be a fiasco of major proportions and brought about his premature retirement.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (3)

Marcelle Rogez (14 August 1940 - 8 January 1972) ( his death)
Arline Judge (15 October 1931 - 9 April 1937) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Virginia Caldwell (20 November 1920 - 17 April 1924) ( divorced)

Trivia (3)

Younger brother of Charles Ruggles.
Directed 4 actors to Oscar nominations: Ronald Colman (Best Actor, Condemned! (1929)), Richard Dix (Best Actor, Cimarron (1931)), Irene Dunne (Best Actress, Cimarron (1931)), and Gladys George (Best Actress, Valiant Is the Word for Carrie (1936)).
Served as a cameraman for the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France during World War I.

Personal Quotes (2)

One figure can sometimes add up to a lot.
A figure with curves always offers a lot of interesting angles.

See also

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