Ruth Clifford: An Early Contract Player on the Circuits

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Today is the birthday of Ruth Clifford (1900-1998). A native of my home state of Rhode Island, she was orphaned as a teenager and moved to Los Angeles to live with an aunt who was an actress. She began appearing in films in extra parts for Universal at age 15, and rapidly progressed to second leads and occasional starring roles. While she played Ann Rutledge in The Dramatic Life of Abraham Lincoln (1924) and got some other decent roles, by the sound era, she was back to doing bit parts, frequently working for the likes of John Ford. She retired in the late 60s.

Along with a number of other minor film stars, she undertook a vaudeville tour in 1928, presumably as promotion and preparation for the talkies that were to come.

To find out more about the vaudeville past and presentconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous

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