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Ruth Patricia White (April 24, 1914 – December 3, 1969) was an American actress who worked in theatre, film, and television. She was an Emmy Award and Obie Award winner and also a Tony Award nominee.

Ruth White
Ruth emmy 5x5.jpg
Ruth White Emmy
Born Ruth Patricia White
(1914-04-24)April 24, 1914
Perth Amboy, New Jersey, U.S.
Died December 3, 1969(1969-12-03) (aged 55)
Perth Amboy, New Jersey, U.S.
Cause of death Cancer
Occupation Actress
Years active 1946–1969


Early careerEdit

A lifelong resident of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, White attended St. Mary's High School and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Literature from New Jersey College for Women, now Douglass Residential College, Rutgers University in 1935.[1] While pursuing her acting career in nearby New York City, she taught acting and drama at Seton Hall University. During this period, she also studied acting with Maria Ouspenskaya.[2]

Career hiatus and resurgenceEdit

White's career was delayed in the late 1950s while she nursed her ailing mother. During her mother's illness White gained weight and looked older than her age. However, she managed to recover and appeared in off-Broadway plays of Samuel Beckett ("Happy Days") and Edward Albee ("Malcolm" and "Box"). White also earned a Tony Award nomination in 1968 for her role in Harold Pinter's "The Birthday Party."[2]

In 1964, she won an Emmy Award for her role in the Hallmark Hall of Fame TV Movie Little Moon of Alban.[3] By the end of the 1960s, she had become one of New York's most highly praised and in demand character actresses, and appeared in Midnight Cowboy, Hang 'Em High and No Way To Treat A Lady.[2]


White, who never married, died of cancer on December 3, 1969. She is interred with her brothers Charles and Richard in their family plot at Saint Mary's Cemetery, Perth Amboy, New Jersey.[2] Her final film role was in The Pursuit of Happiness, released fourteen months after her death.[4]

Selected filmographyEdit

Selected television creditsEdit


  1. ^ "RUTH WHITE, 55, OF STAGE AND TV; Actress Who Won Emmy in Little Moon of Alban Dies", The New York Times, December 4, 1969. Accessed November 14, 2017. "Ruth Catherine Whie, born April 14, 1924, into a family that had been in Perth Amboy for more than 150 years, was the daughter of Charles V. and Jane Gibbons White, She attended St. Mary's High School in her hometown and was graduated from Douglass College in New Brunswick, N. J."
  2. ^ a b c d Ruth White on IMDb
  3. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1416. ISBN 0-345-45542-8. 
  4. ^

External linksEdit