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Tue, 06.28.1910

Ruth Attaway, Stage, Screen, and TV Actress born

Ruth Attaway

Ruth Attaway was born on this date in 1910. She was a Black actress and community volunteer.

Born in Greenville, MS, actress Ruth Attaway younger brother was William Attaway.  She is best known for her work in theater.  She debuted on Broadway in 1936 and went on to work on various stages, on and off Broadway, for over 40 years.  Attaway was the first director in the New York Players Guild. She also had experience working in radio and on television. When not acting, she worked for the American Red Cross and for the state of New York.  She appeared in "The President's Lady" (1953) followed by "Raintree County" and "The Young Don't Cry" in 1957. In 1959 she played in "Porgy and Bess" (image).

Attaway also played in the films "Terror in the City" and "Farmer's Wife," aka Pie in the Sky.  These were followed by the role the Mayor's nurse in "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, Pelham 1-2-3 (Europe: English title: video box title) aka El Tomar de Pelham uno dos tres, (USA: Spanish title: dubbed version) and the role of Edna in "Conrack" (all in 1974).  Attaway made it to television in “It Came Up from the Depths” and as Delia in “The Bermuda Depths,” both in 1978; a year later this was made for Japan television as Bamyoda no Nazo.

One of her most enduring roles was as Louise in the 1979 film “Being There” with Peter Sellers.  Later that year she was in "Chance," which was remade into "Mr. Chance" in 1980 in West Germany.   Ruth Attaway died on September 21, 1987.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Academy Foundation
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California 90211
Phone: 310-247-3000
Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide

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