Ruth Roman Profile

Ruth Roman
Ruth Roman
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(Norma Roman)
23 December 22 is born in Lynn, Massachusetts, of Polish descent. Her parents own a carnival sideshow.
? is raised in Boston. Later she'll remember that "in the Boston tenement district where I lived as a kid were lots of poor people. Many parents worked; the community settlement house helped take care of the kids. With mother working, I'd go there every afternoon after school. One of the house's projects was a series of one-act plays. I started acting in them at the age of nine, playing pixies and elves in things like Bridget and the Fairies. Of course, only the kids and our parents, who loved us, saw the shows."
? her father dies when she’s still a child
38 appears in her first school play
? models dresses for buyers at Seventh Avenue wholesale houses
? works as a hatcheck girl at a New York nightclub
? studies acting at the Bishop Lee Drama School
? becomes a member of Boston's New England Repertory Company
? is spotted by a David O. Selznick agent while in summer stock in Yes, My Darling Daughter. Selznick pays her $100 a week to spend on drama lessons.
40 marries Jack Flaxman. He's 5 years her senior.
41 divorces Flaxman after less than a year. Flaxman will die at age 84 in 2002 in Las Vegas.
June 49 buys a small house in Coldwater Canyon. The press knows: "When times were tougher she lived with several other girls in a rambling Hollywood home known as 'the House of the Seven Garbos.'"
October 49 Warner Brothers is said dusting off The Two Worlds of Johnny Truro for her. Originally they bought it for Bette Davis. "Ruth probably will inherit several of Bette's stories."
columnist Louella Parsons thinks that Ruth and Cy Bartlett are "as close as apple pie and cheese..."
November 49 declares that the report she’ll marry Bill Walsh by year's end is greatly exaggerated. "I see a lot of Bill," she says, "but no marriage is in the offing."
December 49 columnist Dorothy Kilgallen reports: "Jayne Wyman walked into Ciro's the other night with Lew Ayres just five minutes after Ronald Reagan walked out with Ruth Roman - which gave the locals something to chatter about..."
Ronald Reagan squires her to the big premiere of The Hasty Heart. Columnist Sheila Graham notes: "It could be the start of a beautiful friendship."
January 50 dances up a storm with Ronald Reagan at Billy Wilkerson’s LaRue one night, but the next night she’s with Frances Murray at Ciro’s
crashes the top 10 list in fan mail at Warner Brothers with just three released pictures
the leading newspaper in Caracas, Venezuela, votes her "the most striking new screen personality of 1949"
March 50 is seen "pretty smooth swinging" with Steve Cochran at the Mocambo
columnist Walter Winchell writes: "Actress Ruth Roman's emdees cautioned she is a candidate for 'Richest Girl in the Cemetery'..."
her about-to-be fiancé, Bill Walsh, is reported a part-owner of the famous Will Wright Ice Cream Company
May 50 columnist Sheila Graham knows that Ruth is "having a Roman holiday with a top actor I used to swoon for..."
claims that since she became a star, "nobody even loves me anymore"
attends a party given at Ciro’s for Dorothea Lee McEvoy, Screen Guide’s editorial director
June 50 is picked by Look magazine as "The Big Time Movie Personality of 1950"
July 50 at the Stork Club's Table 50, she says to Margaret Truman, the president's daughter: "Has anyone ever told you how much you resemble Margaret Truman?"
Winchell knows: "Liz Scott will be pained to learn that Mort Hall is fickle. Ruth Roman consumed most of his time this week..."
Willys of Hollywood claims she has "the loveliest legs in the past 50 years"
August 50 her friend Ronald Reagan takes her to Ciro's
September 50 even though she and Bill Walsh keep denying they're more than the traditional "just good friends," pals point out that they're inseparable and also that "Ruth recently invested a neat bundle of moolah in Bill's ice cream parlors"
fails to land the wife role in Elia Kazan's upcoming A Streetcar Named Desire
she and actor John Agar are a surprise due at the Encore Room
columnist Dorothy Kilgallen thinks that Ruth is "being very quiet about her romance with John Agar, Shirley Temple's ex..."
Early December 50 tells columnist Erskine Johnson about her recent escort, Mortimer Hall: "He's the first wealthy man I've ever enjoyed being with. He doesn't talk about yachts."
15 December 50 announces she’ll marry Hall in Las Vegas over the weekend
17 December 50 marries Mortimer Hall in Las Vegas, Nevada. He's 26; she's 27. He's manager of Los Angeles radio station KLAC, which is owned by his mother, 47-year-old Dorothy Schiff, who's also owner and publisher of The New York Post. The 2.30 a.m. ceremony is performed at the home of Judge Frank McNamee. It's the second marriage for each.
19 December 50 columnist Walter Winchell adds: "The Ruth Roman-Mortimer Hall flash scooped his long-time Lizabeth Scott..."
Late December 50 her marriage to Hall has left "her long-time beau, Bill Walsh, holding a torch almost as high as the tall ice cream cones he sells with partner Will Wright"
January 51 nixes a blonde dye job for her role in Tomorrow is Another Day. She wears a wig.
February 51 wants to spend her delayed honeymoon with Hall in New York and the Bahamas. "But it may be another picture - Distant Drums with Gary Cooper, either in Florida or Colorado."
Milo Anderson, designer for Warner Brothers studio, says she is proportioned exactly as a girl ought to be. "Ruth is a stunning example of the full-blown, shapely woman of 1951 - and considerably different from the clothes-rack ladies that used to be so popular."
March 51 is reported taking the Lurline for a Hawaiian honeymoon. Her husband will go by plane to Honolulu.
her latest gift from Hall is a 5-grand imported car
June 51 is reported fuming over Universal-International's re-release of her 15-chapter serial, Queen of the Jungle, which catches her with her improved acting talents down
July 51 says about her mother-in-law, Dorothy Schiff: "She's the handsomest woman I've ever seen. I love her."
August 51 presents her husband on his birthday with a Colt .45
September 51 she and Hall move into their new home "at last but will live in the guest room until the rest of the house is fixed up to their liking..."
30 November 51 injures her arms and shoulders when tumbling down a flight of stars at Warner Brothers studio
December 51 her husband's father, Richard B. W. Hall, a socialite of 50 years' standing, is dropped from the New York Social Register. His son is left out, too.
Hollywood agent Leon O. Lance is reported going ahead with lawsuits against powerful filmtown ten percenters for "stealing" his star clients. "Movie queens involved are Ruth Roman, Nancy Olson, Terry Moore, and Kim Hunter, who started as unknowns with Lance."
January 52 refuses to comment on the exclusion of her husband's name from the New York Social Register. "It's a taboo topic on the Warner lot, too..."
February 52 she and Hall are seen in Palm Springs. "No trouble they say..."
April 52 announces she’ll take a vacation from movies to await her first visit from the stork in the fall
May 52 the police uncover a plot to blackmail her and Doris Day
she and Hall are pictured attending an informal charity tea in Beverly Hills
12 November 52 her son, Richard Roman, "Dickie," is born in Santa Monica
January 53 columnist Earl Wilson tells that "the young stay-at-home bachelor Ed Luckenbach entertained Mortimer Hall and his B. W., Ruth Roman..."
March 53 will take her first trip to Europe after finishing Blowing Wild in Mexico. "With husband Mortimer Hall, of course, but not the baby."
May 53 she and Warner Brothers have a new deal that gives her the right to make outside pictures and limits her to one a year on their lot
July 53 will go to England to film The Good Die Young
August 53 she and "her wealthy mama-in-law, Dorothy Schiff, are proving there's no chill between them as rumored..."
September 53 leaves Warner Brothers "without delivering a bitter blast to her former employers"
December 53 can’t stand Corinne Calvet while filming The Far Country
Italian actor-director Vittorio DeSica says in Rome that she's the first American actress he wants to talk to about his first American picture
February 54 is reported having turned down several telefilm offers
says "sexy pinup pictures are fine, but if I'm going to do them I'll pose in my own curves"
February 55 she and Hall are reported having TV production plans. "A series to be filmed in Europe with Hall as producer and Ruth as the star."
23 March 55 announces in Hollywood that she intends to institute divorce proceedings against Hall alleging cruelty
End March 55 columnist Louella Parsons knows: "When Ruth Roman goes to Las Vegas for Mario Lanza's opening at the New Frontier hotel, she'll likely stay on and establish residence to divorce Mortimer Hall." Louella wonders how Ruth and Mortimer, actually separated since three weeks, managed to keep the big secret until Ruth filed for divorce.
April 55 she and Hall reconcile. "They're in New York together, and all is blissful again."
columnist Erskine Johnson knows that Hall was out of town when she filed for divorce. "Both thought they had their marriage problems solved until a few weeks ago..."
June 55 denies rumors of a feud with Corinne Calvet during the filming of The Far Country
October 55 will return to Rome after finishing Great Day in the Morning for added love scenes in The Sinner
December 55 columnist Walter Winchell tells that her estranged groom is "very gone about Rosemary Bowe, former flame of actor Bob Stack..."
after her second rift with Hall, she's consoled by Brad Dexter, ex-husband of singer Peggy Lee
Mid-December 55 is expected to file for divorce after the holidays
January 56 her salary is reported to have been upped 25 per cent
Early March 56 her estranged husband is reported "maaaad for Dorothy Malone..."
March 56 her Italian film, The Sinner, may not be released in the States. "There's too much of Ruth showing on the screen..."
29 March 56 wins a divorce from Hall in Santa Monica charging mental cruelty. Hall doesn't contest. She's granted custody of their 3-year-old son, $500 monthly support, and receives their home at 436 Rockingham Road, Brentwood Park. "He told me I was stupid and said he wished he never married me," she claims.
April 56 columnist Walter Winchell hints that "her last beaumance is a cellist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic"
May 56 attends Maurice Chevalier's opening at Ciro's with John Bash
25 July 56 she and her 3-year-old son, Dickie, are onboard the Italian ocean liner SS Andrea Doria, which, bound from Genua to New York, collides off-shore Nantucket with the Swedish liner Stockholm. During the rescue, she is taken aboard the Ile de France while her son is placed on the Stockholm. She has to wait several hours at the pier in New York City for her son's arrival. Although most passengers and crew survive, the luxury liner capsizes and sinks the following morning.
August 56 columnist Dorothy Kilgallen writes: "Gossip continues to link Ruth Roman with Jose Dorelis, but eyewitnesses note that Jeff Jones has been rather conspicuously in attendance since Ruth's recent dramatic arrival back in the States after the Andrea Doria disaster."
is reported begging off from appearing on a TV recreation of her Andrea Doria experience. "It's still too vivid and too horrible."
Early November 56 wants to marry her fiancé, Budd Moss, aboard a Norwegian freighter bound for Spain, but the captain of the ship says he can't perform the ceremony due to company rules. She and Moss schedule the nuptials for the Panama port of call. With her is her son, Dickie.
8 November 56 marries Las Vegas nightclub owner Budd Burton Moss at the El Panama in Panama City. He's 26; she's 33. The ceremony is performed by a Panamanian magistrate. Following the ceremony, they continue their trip. They are expected to arrive in Antwerp, Holland, on November 22.
Mid-November 56 while unsuccessfully seeking a marriage license for his planned marriage to Diana Lynn, Hall is told to consult his attorney. Hall was granted a Mexican divorce decree on October 14, but the interlocutory divorce decree Ruth obtained on March 29 hasn't become final. Finally, he and Diana will marry in Tijuana, Mexico, on December 8.
Early April 57 is reported making "no secret of the big message she gets from German actor Curd Jurgens, ex-husband of Eva Bartok. In Europe to start a movie with him, she bubbles: 'Seeing Curd on the screen would make any woman want to become an actress, just in hope of playing opposite him.'"
16 April 57 her marriage to Hall seems to end officially in Los Angeles Superior Court when Hall receives the requested final divorce decree
Early May 57 is in Paris filming Bitter Victory
? in Spain, she and Moss spend a lot of time with famed bullfighter Miguel Dominguin and his wife, actress Lucia Bose
December 57 columnist Harrison Carroll knows: "Ruth and Budd just returned to Hollywood via a freighter, the same way they went over. The voyage from France, through the Panama canal and up the West Coast took 22 days."
columnist Erskine Johnson reports her "back in town after a year's absence, with hubby Buddy Moss..."
July 58 is off to Florida with her husband until August, when he has to report to New York
Mid-December 59 returns to Hollywood by train to spend the holidays with her family. "She has turned down an Italian picture, and is talking about a play with Eric North, producer-director at the Palm Springs playhouse."
January 60 she and Moss are reported "enjoying a trial separation..."
February 60 she and Moss reconcile "dwelling in the same Chicago home..."
June 60 she and Moss separate again
Mid-July 60 seeks to annul her four-year marriage to General Artists Corp. agent / Music Corporation of America executive Budd Moss in Santa Monica. She alleges that when they were married in November 1956, her divorce from Hall was not yet final.
12 August 60 obtains an annulment of her marriage to Moss in Santa Monica Superior Court. Moss is 30; she is 34. Afterwards, she dashes out of the courthouse with the explanation that her studio has given her only one hour off to straighten out her marital affairs. She says she has a part in a new picture, Look in Any Window, which is being filmed in the Valley.
Late August 60 is seen around with Buddy Rudolph, the ex of Joan Benny
November 60 columnist Walter Winchell notes her "extending her jeweled hand for Cotillion Room host Gogi to kiss..."
15 February 61 files suit against Hall in Los Angeles, claiming in 1956 he persuaded her to hire an attorney who was Hall's friend. The suit says that, although she was assured the lawyer would represent her adequately, she was given the erroneous impression that Hall was in bad financial condition. As a result, she claims, she accepted token alimony of $1 a year and $500 a month for support of her son, Richard, now 8.
c. 61 wins the Sarah Siddons Award in Chicago for her starring role in Two for the Seesaw
August 63 attends a "Route 66" party honoring producer Stirling Silliphant
23 December 63 is in the committee of City of Hope's gala film premiere of The Victors, held at the Fox Wilshire Theater. The black-tie affair is attended by Bob Hope, Gloria Swanson, Martita Hunt, and Whitney Blake, among others.
April 64 is among the guests at Lana Turner's swinging birthday party in Acapulco, Mexico. In midst the filming of Love has Many Faces, the bash is thrown by Lana's old friend, Armando Sotres, and Acapulco's who's who is invited. Ruth gifts Lana with a beautiful flower spray.
September 65 will get the part in TV's "The Long Hot Summer," that Gale Robbins was originally considered for
July 66 film critic George Raborn rates her the "All-Time Best Figure (Female)," hotly pursued by Monica Lewis
10 September 67 has to leap from her burning car a few blocks from the Ambassador East Hotel in Chicago. Her chauffeur, Robert Stillman, calls the fire department. By cab she arrives in time for her performance in Beekman Place at the Ivanhoe Theater.
? tours the States in stage presentations of Plaza Suite, The Killing of Sister George, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and Two for the Seesaw
72 resides in Laguna Beach, California, but goes up to Los Angeles to do something once in a while - a premiere or a TV guest shot - "to show people I'm not dead"
December 72 attends the Los Angeles premiere of The Great Waltz
c. August 81 is contacted by members of Peter Gimbel's Andrea Doria expedition about the 1956 collision and the fate of her jewels the night she was rescued. "I lost everything," she says. "But it's not in that safe."
9 September 99 as Ruth Roman, she dies at age 76 in her sleep at her Laguna Beach, California, home
? is cremated. Her ashes are scattered at sea.
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