When movies are discussed -- whether at film festivals or late at night in
front of the television set -- one film is consistently acclaimed as an
important cinematic achievement. The movie is "Citizen Kane," and the young,
New York theater-trained actress who played Orson Welles' wife was Ruth
This landmark film had its 50th anniversary in 1991, and to celebrate it, Ms.
Warrick was honored with a caricature on the wall of the famed New York
restaurant, Sardi's. "Citizen Kane" was Ms. Warrick's entry into Hollywood.
Some 20 other movies (including "The Great Bank Robbery"); a long run and an
Emmy nomination as Hannah Cord in "Peyton Place"; five years on "As the World
Turns"; a starring role in the television series, "Father of the Bride";
guest starring roles on television and a long list of plays have followed.
Ruth Warrick is a lady who likes to stay busy.
Ms. Warrick is no stranger to Broadway. She appeared with Jackie Gleason in
the musical, "Take Me Along," and in a featured role in "Pal Joey." She also
played on Broadway and on tour in the hit play, "Irene." In regional theater
she starred in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and in "Long Day's Journey
Into Night." She also toured as Anna in "The King and I."
Her popular and fascinating autobiography, "The Confessions of Phoebe Tyler,"
discusses the character of Phoebe, whom she has portrayed since the show's
inception in 1970, as well as Ms. Warrick's life as an actress in New York
and Hollywood. The book, which she wrote with Don Preston, was published in
1980 by Prentice-Hall.
Ms. Warrick has guest starred on "The Love Boat" and in the "ABC Afterschool
Specials." She also played the familiar role of Hannah Cord in the 1985
made-for-television movie, "Return to Peyton Place." More recently, on stage,
she starred in a production of "Butterflies Are Free" at Montclair (N.J.)
State College and in James Kirkwood's "Legends" at Tiffany's Attic Dinner
Playhouse in Kansas City, Missouri.
Long active in arts-in-education programs, including programs for the
disadvantaged in the Watts area of Los Angeles, Ruth received the first
national Arts in Education Award in 1983 from the Board of Directors of
Business and Industry for Arts in Education, Inc. She was cited for
leadership in helping to make the arts more central to the schooling process.
The award was then named the Ruth Warrick Award for Arts in Education and is
now given annually.
In Watts, Ms. Warrick was a co-founder of Operation Bootstrap, where she
taught communication skills. In New York City, she taught at Julia Richman
High School as part of President Carter's "City in Schools" program. She has
been a Dropout Prevention consultant for the Department of Labor under
President John F. Kennedy and for the Job Training Corps under President
Recently, Ms. Warrick was appointed to the U.N. World Women's Committee on
Mental Health. Ruth explains, "The thrust of this organization is to bring
together the two most needy areas of our society, the neglected young and the
neglected old, in a bonding relationship that is extremely beneficial to
On her birthday in 1990, she made the announcement that maestro Ulf Bjorlin,
for whom she had narrated his composition, "Portrait of Wallenberg," would
write a symphonic work on the theme of Heloise and Abelard. On her next
birthday, he played the piano version of the work as his gift to her. The
work, based on the metaphysical play, "The Secret Bread," was presented in
May, 1992, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, with an
orchestra, actors, two choruses and a ballet.In 1991, Ms. Warrick received
her certification as a licensed metaphysical teacher from Unity School of
Practical Christianity in Lees Summit, Missouri.
Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, Ms, Warrick moved to Kansas City while she was
in high school and later attended the University of Kansas City. A
promotional tour brought her to New York; her interest in acting brought her
to the Mercury Theater, headed by Orson Welles, with whom she ultimately
headed for Hollywood.
Ms. Warrick passed away on Saturday, January 15th
at 12:15AM in her Manhattan home. Official reports list the cause of Ms. Warrick's death as complications from pneumonia. She was 88.
All My Children
January 5, 1970 to January 5, 2005
Father of the Bride
As the World Turns
Edith "Aunt Edie" Hughes Frey
1956 to 1960
The Guiding Light
Janet Johnson, R.N.
1953 to 1954
The Battle Over Citizen Kane
The Great Bank Robbery
How to Steal the World
Ride Beyond Vengeance
Beauty on Parade
One Too Many
The Great Dan Patch
Make Believe Ballroom
Arch of Triumph
Song of the South
Dr. Sara Durand
Guest in the House
Mr. Winkle Goes to War
The Iron Major
Forever and a Day
Journey Into Fear
The Corsican Brothers
Countess Isabelle Gravini
Obliging Young Lady
Emily Norton Kane
Winner, Lifetime Acheivement Award (2005)
, Nominee Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series (1975, 1976)
Arts in Education Award
Board of Governors Special Award for Arts Patronage
PLACE OF BIRTH: St. Joseph, Missouri
DATE OF BIRTH: June 29, 1916
PASSED AWAY: January 15, 2005
HEIGHT: 5'6 1/2"