Ann Rutherford began life as Mary Cecilia Ramone Theresa Ann Rutherford. Showbiz was in her genes. Her father was John Defferin Rutherford, a Metropolitan Opera singer and her mother, Lucille Mansfield, was a cousin of actor Richard Mansfield, and was herself a former silent screen actress. Although Ann was born in Canada, she grew up in California and made her stage debut at the age of six in Raggedy Ann. She went on to appear in many plays and on radio before being signed by Mascot/Republic in 1934 as a leading lady of low-budget Westerns, usually opposite Gene Autry and John Wayne. By the time Ann was seventeen, she had moved over to MGM, where she would gain the status of superstar for her portrayal of Polly Benedict in the popular Andy Hardy series that starred Mickey Rooney. Polly was Andy’s girlfriend and they would make 13 Andy Hardy films together. Another Northern Star, Cecilia Parker played Andy’s older sister. Ann is also remembered by fans of the classic, Gone With The Wind in which she played Careen O’Hara, Scarlett’s younger sister. Canadian-born director James Cameron approached Ann to play the role of the older Rose in his film, Titanic, but she decided not to accept the role. Rare episodic TV appearances filled some of her time through the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, her last being two episodes of The Bob Newhart Show in 1974 in which she played mom to Suzanne Pleshette. Some sources say she was born in Vancouver. Rutherford, who had heart problems and had been in declining health, died at her home in Beverly Hills.
Features & TV Movies: VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release
Carnival in Paris (1934) Waterfront Lady (1935) Melody Trail (1935) The Fighting Marines (1935) The Singing Vagabond (1936) The Harvester (1936) Down to the Sea (1936) Doughnuts and Society (1936) Coming ‘Round the Mountain (1936) The Oregon Trail (1936) The Lawless Nineties (1936) The Lonely Trail (1936) Public Cowboy No.1 (1937) The Devil is Driving (1937) The Bride Wore Red (uncredited, 1937) You’re Only Young Once (1938) Of Human Hearts (1938) Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938) Judge Hardy’s Children (1938) Dramatic School (1938) Out West with the Hardys (1938) A Christmas Carol (1938) These Glamour Girls (1939) Judge Hardy and Son (1939) The Hardys Ride High (1939) Four Girls in White (1939) Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (39) Angel of Mercy (1939) Dancing Co-Ed (1939) Gone With The Wind (1939)
Pride and Prejudice (1940) The Ghost Comes Home (1940) Andy Hardy Meets a Debutante (1940) Wyoming (1940) Whistling in the Dark (1941) Washington Melodrama (1941) Life Begins for Andy Hardy (1941) Keeping Company (1941) Badlands of Dakota (1941) Andy Hardy’s Private Secretary (1941) Whistling in Dixie (1942) This Time for Keeps (1942) Orchestra Wives (1942) The Courtship of Andy Hardy (42) Andy Hardy’s Double Life (1942) Flag of Mercy (1942) Whistling in Brooklyn (1943) Happy Land (1943) The Bermuda Mystery (1944) Two O’Clock Courage (1945) Bedside Manner (1945) Murder in the Music Hall (1946) The Madonna’s Secret (1946) Inside Job (1946) Unusual Occupations (uncredited, playing herself, 1947) The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) Adventures of Don Juan (1948)
Operation Haylift (1950)
They Only Kill Their Masters (1972) Won Ton Ton, The Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976)
TV Series – Cast: Leave It To The Girls (panelist, 1949-1954)