Ruth Hussey

22 April, 2005 at 4:18 am (film)

From the Washington Post:

An autographed photograph of the recently deceased actress Ruth Hussey.‘Philadelphia Story’ Screen Actress Ruth Hussey Dies
by Adam Bernstein, Thursday, April 21, 2005; Page B06

Ruth Hussey, 93, the breathtaking brunette best known for her Academy Award-nominated performance as the sarcastic photographer in “The Philadelphia Story,” died April 19 at a nursing home in Thousand Oaks, Calif. She had complications from a recent hospital stay for appendicitis.

Ms. Hussey, a former Powers model, appeared in more than 40 films and typically was cast as elegant, wise and slightly world-weary women.

Director George Cukor, a friend who hired Ms. Hussey for “The Philadelphia Story” (1940), became a mentor. “He gave me one piece of advice that I always use,” she once said. “‘Keep your emotions near the surface so that you can call on them when you need to.'”

In that film, she played Liz Imbrie, the scandal-magazine photographer who, with writing partner James Stewart, is sent to cover the Main Line wedding of haughty Katharine Hepburn.

Ruth Carol Hussey was born Oct. 30, 1911, in Providence, R.I. Her ancestor Christopher Hussey was one of the original purchasers of Nantucket Island, Mass.

Noticed by a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer casting agent when “Dead End” came to Los Angeles, she was signed to a contract in 1937. Reportedly, she was hired as a threat to keep stars Myrna Loy and Norma Shearer from becoming too demanding.

Her ascent was swift. A bit player opposite Spencer Tracy in the drama “Big City” (1937), she became his co-star three years later in the frontier drama “Northwest Passage” (1940).

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