Ruth McDevitt

Ruth Thane McDevitt (née Shoecraft; September 13, 1895 – May 27, 1976)[1] was an American stage, film, radio and television actress.

Ruth McDevitt
Ruth McDevitt 1950.JPG
McDevitt in 1950.
Ruth Thane Shoecraft

(1895-09-13)September 13, 1895
DiedMay 27, 1976(1976-05-27) (aged 80)
Other namesRuth Thane McDevitt
Years active1949–1976
Spouse(s)Patrick McDevitt (m. 1928–1934; his death)


The daughter of John Barnabas Shoecraft and Elizabeth Imber Shoecraft,[2] McDevitt was born in Coldwater, Michigan,[3] but she grew up in Ohio.[4] After attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she married Patrick McDevitt on December 10, 1928,[2] and decided to devote her time to her marriage. After her husband's death in 1934, she returned to acting. She performed on Broadway, in particular understudying and succeeding Josephine Hull in Arsenic and Old Lace and The Solid Gold Cadillac.

McDevitt also acted on radio, portraying the title character's mother in Keeping up with Rosemary[5] and Jane in This Life Is Mine.[5]:333

On television, McDevitt portrayed Bessie Thatcher in the DuMont drama A Woman to Remember (1949).[6]:1189 She played Mom Peepers in the 1950s sitcom Mister Peepers[6]:702-703 and Grandma Hanks on CBS's Pistols 'n' Petticoats.[6]:837 She was a regular on The Everly Brothers Show[6] and the NBC soap Bright Promise from September 1969 to June 1970. McDevitt also had a regular role as Emily Cowles on Kolchak: the Night Stalker, starring Darren McGavin.[6]:572

McDevitt guest starred in such series as Suspense, Cosmopolitan Theatre, Decoy, The United States Steel Hour, Westinghouse Studio One, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Andy Griffith Show, The Debbie Reynolds Show, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Mayberry R.F.D., I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Love, American Style, That Girl, Nanny and the Professor, Room 222, Mannix, Here's Lucy, Gunsmoke, Marcus Welby, M.D., Phyllis, Little House on the Prairie, All in the Family (on which she had a recurring role during 1974 and 1975), and The Streets of San Francisco, Naked City.

Her film debut was in The Guy Who Came Back (1951), followed by memorable roles in The Parent Trap (as camp counselor Miss Inch), Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (as Mrs. MacGruder, the pet store saleslady), Boys' Night Out, Dear Heart, The Shakiest Gun in the West, Angel in My Pocket, The Love God?, Change of Habit, The War Between Men and Women, and Mixed Company.


McDevitt died, aged 80, in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California and is interred in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.


Year Title Role Notes
1951 The Guy Who Came Back Grandma
1953 The Long, Long Trailer Mrs. Vagabond Uncredited
1961 The Parent Trap Miss Inch
1962 Boys Night Out Beulah Partridge
1963 The Birds Mrs. MacGruder, bird shop owner
Love Is a Ball Mathilda, grandmother
1964 Dear Heart Miss Tait
1968 The Shakiest Gun in the West Mrs. Olive Heywood with film's star Don Knotts
1969 Angel in My Pocket Nadine with Andy Griffith
The Love God? Miss Keezy with film's star Don Knotts
Change of Habit Lily
1972 The War Between Men and Women Old woman
1974 Mame Cousin Fan
Homebodies Mrs. Loomis
Mixed Company Miss Bergquist
Year Title Role Notes
1949 A Woman to Remember Bessie Thatcher Unknown episodes
1958 Harbourmaster Mrs. Markham 1 episode
Omnibus Ewa 1 episode
1961 Naked City Mrs. Abbie Dobbins 1 episode
1962 The Nurses Miss Dillion 1 episode
Dr. Kildare Adele Fromm, RN 1 episode
1963-1964 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour Mrs. Fister / Miss Emmy Right 2 episodes
1964 Route 66 Mrs. Harris 1 episode
The Doctors Mrs. McMurtrie Unknown episodes
1966–1967 Pistols 'n' Petticoats Grandma Effie Hanks 26 episodes
1967 Bewitched The Queen Ticheba / Mrs Parsons / Aunt Millicent 3 episodes
1968 The Andy Griffith Show Mrs. Pendleton 2 episodes
1969 The Debbie Reynolds Show Mrs. Patterson 1 episode
Bright Promise Clara Ryan September 29, 1969 to June 1970
1970 The Courtship of Eddie's Father Miss Bristol 1 episode
That Girl Aunt Belle 1 episode
1971 The New Andy Griffith Show Mrs. Gossage 3 episodes
Nanny and the Professor Mrs. Rumble 1 episode
1972 Room 222 Miss Brown/Vivian Higgins 2 episodes
1973 The New Dick Van Dyke Show Mrs. Ferguson 1 episode
The Girl Most Likely to... Housemistress made for TV movie
1974 Kojak Mrs. Farenkrug 1 episode
McCloud Landlady 1 episode
1973-1975 All In the Family Josephine "Jo" Nelson 3 episodes
1974–1975 Kolchak: The Night Stalker Emily Cowles 12 episodes
1975 Phyllis Miss McDermott 1 episode
1975 Ellery Queen Zelda Van Dyke 1 episode
Medical Center Alice 1 episode


  1. ^ Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-7864-0983-9. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Downs, Winfield Scott (1934). Encyclopedia of American Biography: New Series. American Historical Society. p. 196. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  3. ^ "Coldwater, Michigan". Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  4. ^ Bennett, Jean (May 27, 1965). "Ruth McDevitt Loves Success". The Record. New Jersey, Hackensack. p. 21. Retrieved July 18, 2020 – via
  5. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4.
  6. ^ a b c d e Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 313. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.

External linksEdit