Albert S. Ruddy
|Born||March 28, 1930|
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Alma mater||University of Southern California|
|Spouse(s)||Françoise Ruddy (divorced)|
Albert Stotland Ruddy (born March 28, 1930) is a Canadian-American film and television producer. He is known for producing The Godfather (1972) and Million Dollar Baby (2004), both of which won him the Academy Award for Best Picture, as well as co-creating the CBS sitcom Hogan's Heroes (1965–1971).
Albert S. Ruddy was born to Ruth (née Ruddy) Hertz and Hy Stotland, a Jewish family in Montreal, and raised in New York City and in Miami Beach, Florida, by his mother. Ruddy attended Brooklyn Technical High School before earning a scholarship to allow him to study chemical engineering at City College of New York. In 1956, he graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in architectural design.
Ruddy worked designing homes for a construction company, in Hackensack, New Jersey.
After a short stint at Warner Brothers, brought about by a chance meeting with studio chief Jack L. Warner, Ruddy moved on to become a programmer trainee at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California. Returning to entertainment, Ruddy was a television writer at Universal Studios, but left when Marlon Brando Sr., father of the legendary actor, hired him to produce Wild Seed (1965).
With this film completed, Ruddy co-created Hogan's Heroes (CBS, 1965–1971), which was a critical and commercial success and ran for six seasons. As the sitcom wound down its run, Ruddy returned to films, producing two comedies: Little Fauss and Big Halsy (1970), about two motorcycle racers, and Making It (1971), about a sexually triumphant high school student who beds the gerontophobic wife of his gym teacher.
In 1972, he produced The Godfather, an adaptation of Mario Puzo's novel. The film was a massive success both commercially and critically, and is regarded as one of the best films ever made, as well as a landmark of the gangster genre. The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won three – including Ruddy's first of two Oscars for Best Picture.
In 1974, Ruddy produced an adaptation of his own story treatment as The Longest Yard. The film, which has been described as "the first successful modern sports movie", was very successful financially and was subsequently remade twice with Ruddy as executive producer (as Mean Machine (2001) and as The Longest Yard (2005)).
The following year, Ruddy produced director and animator Ralph Bakshi's satirical film Coonskin (1975). The film was extremely controversial and initially received negative reviews, but it would eventually earn critical acclaim and develop a cult following with cinema devotees around the globe. It remains one of director Quentin Tarantino's favorite movies.
In 1976, he produced a western made-for-TV movie called The Macahans, which was subsequently developed into the series How the West Was Won (1977–1979).
For some time, Ruddy worked with writer-philosopher Ayn Rand to produce her 1957 epic novel Atlas Shrugged as a movie, the rights to which he purchased in the mid-1970s, but the movie never moved beyond the planning stages. Rand demanded unprecedented final script approval, which Ruddy agreed to. However, her friends pointed out that Ruddy could shoot the approved script but still leave all her speeches on the cutting room floor. Rand asked for final editing approval, which neither Ruddy nor the director had the power to give her, so she responded by withdrawing her support from the film and vowing to ensure that Ruddy was never involved in any adaptation of her novel.
Ruddy then started to work with Hong Kong's Golden Harvest, producing The Cannonball Run (1981), a hugely successful film at the box office that received mixed reviews by critics. However today, this Burt Reynolds film enjoys a devoted following from followers of the Rat Pack. Ruddy next produced two action films, Death Hunt (1981) starring Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson, and Megaforce (1982). Ruddy returned to produce Cannonball Run II (1984), which was another commercial success for the Rat-Pack-prominent cast, and featured a guest appearance by Frank Sinatra. The film also features a rare on-screen cameo by Ruddy in a scene spoofing his film The Godfather, and including Godfather supporting actors Alex Rocco and Abe Vigoda.
In 1985, after leaving Golden Harvest, Ruddy and Andre Morgan set up the Ruddy Morgan Organization which produces films budgeted for the $8.5-16 million range, and arranges the financing and developing of "high-visibility" pictures the company is placing up.
In the early 1990s, he helped create the successful series Walker, Texas Ranger. Also in 1992, he licensed the rights from Kevin McClory to make a James Bond television show, but Eon Productions blocked it, and winning the suit, ended any hopes of a television show. On March 5, 2022, Amazon, MGM Television, and 72 Films announced a James Bond reality show.
In 2004, he produced Million Dollar Baby, which earned him his second Oscar for Best Picture. He shared the award with Clint Eastwood, who had presented Ruddy with the Best Picture Oscar for The Godfather over 30 years earlier.
In late 2015, it was announced that he had acquired the rights to Rand's Atlas Shrugged and would be making a movie for worldwide release.
In 2021, his daughter Alexandra Ruddy became co-principal at Albert S. Ruddy Productions.
Ruddy was originally married to and divorced from Francoise Ruddy, who was also Jewish. This was prior to her name change to Ma Prem Hasya as part of the Rajneeshpuram Commune in Central Oregon. Francoise saw him through the production of The Godfather, even lending her name to the production company title.
Ruddy is currently married to Wanda McDaniel, the mother of his two children, John Ruddy and Alexandra Ruddy. Since 1980, McDaniel has been an executive vice president for the Italian designer Giorgio Armani, where she is credited with inventing the red carpet and helping to make Armani into a fashion icon.
In the 2022 biographical drama miniseries The Offer, which dramatizes the making of The Godfather and is executive produced by Ruddy, he is played by Miles Teller.
He was a producer in all films unless otherwise noted.
|1970||Little Fauss and Big Halsy|
|1974||The Longest Yard||Also story|
|1981||Death Hunt||Executive producer|
|The Cannonball Run|
|Cannonball Run II|
|1989||Farewell to the King|
|Speed Zone||Executive producer|
|2001||Mean Machine||Executive producer|
|2004||Million Dollar Baby|
|2005||The Longest Yard||Executive producer and story|
|2019||A Gunman's Curse|
|The Cannonball Run||Executive producer|
|1974||The Longest Yard|
|1984||Cannonball Run II|
|2005||The Longest Yard|
|1955||The Beast with a Million Eyes|
|1965||Wild Seed||Lyrics: "That's Why"|
|1976||How the West Was Won|
|1977||The Godfather Saga|
|1991||Miracle in the Wilderness||Executive producer||Television film|
|1993||Walker, Texas Ranger||Executive producer|
|1997||Married to a Stranger||Executive producer||Television film|
|1998||Martial Law||Executive producer|
|2000||Running Mates||Executive producer||Television film|
|2022||The Offer||Executive producer|
|The Bellinis||Executive producer||Television pilot|
|1963||The Lloyd Bridges Show|
|1976||How the West Was Won|
|Revenge for a Rape||Television film|
|1993−2001||Walker, Texas Ranger|
|2005||Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire||Television film|
|2022||The Offer||based on experience of making 'The Godfather'|
|The Bellinis||Television pilot|
|1977−79||How the West Was Won||Developed for television by|
|2000||Running Mates||Fatcat||Television film|
|2012||Hatfields & McCoys||Special thanks|
According to a brief biography put out by Paramount, Ruddy's knowledge and enthusiasm so impressed the Warner Brothers president, Jack L. Warner, at a party, that Warner hired Ruddy for an executive post on the spot. At the time of this fortuitous meeting, Ruddy was working for a construction company in Hackensack, N.J.
The Oscar-winning Ruddy (Million Dollar Baby) is no stranger to action films, also having produced The Cannonball Run and its sequel.
Amazon's Prime Video has greenlit its first TV show based on the iconic British spy with 007's Road to a Million, a Bond-style spin on a race around the world.
The California Business Search provides access to available information for corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships of record with the California Secretary of State, with free PDF copies of over 17 million imaged business entity documents, including the most recent imaged Statements of Information filed for Corporations and Limited Liability Companies.