Actor. Remembered for his comedic roles in a career that spanned six decades. Born to Charles Sherman and Theresa Maria (Heinsch) Ruggles. His younger brother was director Wesley Ruggles. His parents divorced when he was young. He lived in San Francisco as a teenager. He started acting in 1905 and played a variety of roles in stock companies. He married actress Adele Rowland in 1914. They divorced in 1916. He made his Broadway debut in "Help Wanted" in 1914. His Broadway successes included "Battling Buttler" and "Queen High". He also acted in silent films, including "The Majesty of the Law" (1915), "Peer Gynt" (1915), and "The Heart Raider" (1923). He married actress Barbara Guillan before 1920 and they remained married until her death in 1941. His first talkie was "Gentleman of the Press" (1929), in which he played a drunken news reporter. He became renowned for his partnership with Mary Boland. He played the henpecked husband. Their films included "Mama Loves Papa" (1933), "Six of a Kind" (1934), and "Ruggles of Red Gap" (1935). In the late thirties, he opened See Are Kennels, a dog boarding kennel. In 1938 he portrayed big game hunter Major Horace Applegate in "Bringing Up Baby", which is one of his best-remembered roles. In addition to his film appearances, he acted on multiple radio shows and performed in USO tours during the 1940s. Programs he appeared on include "Barrel of Fun," "Suspense," "Mayor of the Town" and "Lux Radio Theater," In 1942 he married Marion La Barba, who he was married to for the remainder of his life. In 1947 he appeared in "It Happened on 5th Avenue" as Michael J. O'Connor, a millionaire who discovers his mansion is taken over by homeless people. He halted his film career to try television. He flourished, starring in the shows "The Ruggles" and "The World of Mr. Sweeney," He made guest appearances on "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Playhouse 90," "The Life of Riley," and "Bewitched," among others. He was president of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1953. In 1958 he returned to Broadway as Mackenzie Savage in "The Pleasure of His Company." He won a Tony Award for his performance. He also voiced the "Aesop and Son" segment on "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show." He returned to films in the early 1960s, playing grandfather roles. They included "The Parent Trap" (1961) and "Papa's Delicate Condition" (1963). "Follow Me, Boys!" (1966) was his final film. His final acting credit was on "The Danny Thomas Hour" in 1968. Two years later he died of cancer at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California. He was a versatile actor, excelling at both comedy and drama, and was able to transition to different forms of entertainment.
Bio by: Miranda
MY BELOVED HUSBAND