June 13, 2012

Vale – Ann Rutherford

Filed under: Obituary — Rodney Twelftree @ 7:49 pm
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Ann Rutherford – 1917-2012

Candian-born US actress Ann Rutherford has passed away. Ms Rutherford was born Therese Ann Rutherford in November of 1917, the daughter of a tenor at the new York Opera and a silent film star, and they moved to Los Angeles when Rutherford was 9. Rutherford’s first film role came with 1936’s Waterfront Lady, where she starred as Jane O’Brien, as well as becoming a success as a leading lady in a number of westerns for Republic Pictures, before she scored a contract over at MGM, appearing as The Ghost Of Christmas Past in the 1938 adaption of A Christmas Carol, and as Lydia Bennett in Pride & Prejudice in 1940.

Ms Rutherford was loaned out by MGM to appear as Carreen O’Hara, sister of Scarlett, in the epic blockbuster Gone With The Wind, in 1939. In 1937, Rutherford began playing the regular big-screen role of Polly Benedict, Andy Hardy’s girlfriend in the film series of the same name, opposite Mickey Rooney. Rutherford also appeared as Red Skelton’s on-screen girlfriend in the Whistle series of film, including Whistling In The Dark and Whistling In Dixie. In the 40’s Rutherford left MGM and struck out on her own, scoring roles in films such as Orchestra Wives and The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, before retiring from the screen in 1950.

In 1972 Rutherford returned to the screen in the James Garner mystery flick The Only Kill Their Masters, as well as a cameo in 1976’s Won Ton Ton, The Dog Who Saved Hollywood.

Ms Rutherford’s health had been in decline in recent years, as she encountered heart trouble, and she passed away on June 11th. She was 94.


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Rodney is the Editor-In-Chief of Fernby Films, and has been appreciating films seriously since 1993. Rodney’s first foray into online reviews was for a now-defunct online Australian DVD store, before starting up fernbyfilms.com when that enterprise fell through, in 2007. Rodney lives in the South Australian city of Adelaide, with his wife and two young children, whom he loves very much.

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  1. Hello, Rodney.  I am enjoying your website for the first time today.  You need to post a correction on the above color image.  While the black and white publicity photo is the late actress Ann Rutherford, the color photo below is the "Gone With the Wind" top star, the late actress VIVIAN LEIGH.  While both woman were beautiful, there is no confusing these two actresses, but maybe you're just seeing if we're paying attention!  As a classic film buff and former consultant in the entertainment industry, I would never mislead you on trivia facts.  Keep up the great work on your site! – Micheline James

      MichelineJames — July 16, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

  2.  @MichelineJames Thanks, Micheline. You're correct, I did have a picture here that wasn't Ms Rutherford. I've removed the offending image. Many thanks for pointing that out, though – I'm always glad people are paying attention!!!

      fernby — July 17, 2012 @ 2:31 am

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