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Ruth Gordon

Gordon in “Harold and Maude.”

Gordon in “Harold and Maude.”

Quincy

Actress/screenwriter/playwright

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1896-1985

Ruth Gordon Jones was born at 31 Marion St. in the Wollaston section of Quincy, the only child of Clinton Jones, a factory foreman and former ship’s captain, and his wife, Annie.

A letter from actress Hazel Dawn inspired her to become an actress after graduation from Quincy High, and although her father was skeptical, he enrolled her in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1914.

Her acting career spanned 70 years in the theater, films, and television. As a writer, she and second husband Garson Kanin earned three Oscar nominations for their screenplays; she wrote four plays and was nominated for a Tony for her role as Dolly Gallagher Levi in “The Matchmaker” in 1956.

Gordon won an Oscar in 1968 for her role in “Rosemary’s Baby” and a Golden Globe in 1972 as Maude in the cult classic “Harold and Maude,” and hosted “Saturday Night Live” in 1977. Gordon died after a stroke in 1985. The Ruth Gordon Amphitheatre in Merrymount Park in Quincy is named for her.

SOURCES: Internet Movie Database, Nytimes.com.

Internet Movie Database, Nytimes.com.
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