Full Name at Birth
Ruth Elizabeth Warrick
Profile Bio Text
Ruth Elizabeth Warrick (June 29, 1916 – January 15, 2005), DM, was an American singer, actress and political activist, best known for her role as Phoebe Tyler on All My Children, which she played regularly from 1970 until her death in 2005.
She celebrated her 80th birthday by attending a special screening of Citizen Kane to a packed, standing-room-only audience, to which she spoke afterward. (She made her film debut as Kane's first wife.) Over the years, she collected several books about Orson Welles and Citizen Kane, in which she would write "Property of Ruth Warrick, Mrs. Citizen Kane".
She was born in Saint Joseph, Missouri in 1916 (as per her son
and her gravestone, although other sources continue to cite 1915). By writing an essay in high school called "Prevention and Cure of Tuberculosis", Warrick won a contest to be Miss Jubilesta, Missouri's paid ambassador to New York City. Popular legend says that she made her debut in New York City on the steps of city hall with an armful of turkeys for Mayor Fiorello La Guardia.
Warrick began her career in the 1940s as a radio singer where she met her first husband Eric Rolf, but her first big break was being hired by a young Orson Welles for Citizen Kane, where she played Emily Monroe Norton. When she auditioned for the part, she read with Welles. She said that because she was so new to the acting business, she was not aware that it was very rare to actually read with the star. What she also didn't realize was that this was also Welles' first film role. Citizen Kane proved to be a major moment of her life and the long term success of the film would follow her for the rest of her life.
Welles hired her again for his film Journey into Fear alongside fellow Kane actor Joseph Cotten. She worked alongside Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., in the film The Corsican Brothers and had a role in the Academy Award winning Disney film Song of the South; she also appeared in Daisy Kenyon, which starred Joan Crawford and Henry Fonda, but by the late 1940s her film roles were becoming infrequent and less notable.
In the 1950s, she befriended soap opera creator Irna Phillips and her protégé, Agnes Nixon. Warrick became a cast member on the soap opera The Guiding Light, playing Janet Johnson, R.N. from 1953–54. Phillips was impressed by Warrick's performance and hired her for her new soap opera, As the World Turns when the show debuted in 1956. Her character, Edith Hughes, was madly in love with a married man, Jim Lowell. Phillips wanted the characters to live happily ever after, but Procter & Gamble, which owned the show, demanded that the characters not endorse adultery, so Jim "died". Warrick stayed on the show until 1960, and was so popular with fans that she would return several times for holiday visits. Her character married another doctor Dr. Frye.
From 1959-60, she was the understudy for Una Merkel and future All My Children co-star Eileen Herlie in the Broadway production of Take Me Along. During the 1961-62 television season, she starred in the MGM Father of the Bride television series. Then, in 1965, she joined the cast of the primetime serial, Peyton Place, playing Hannah Cord. While there had been previous primetime serials (such as One Man's Family), none had enjoyed the phenomenal success of Peyton Place. Warrick received an Emmy Award nomination for her work on this show in 1967, the same year she left the show. In 1969, she made her last major film, Disney's The Great Bank Robbery. During this time, Agnes Nixon had been moving up the daytime television ranks. She had created her own show, One Life to Live, in 1968. ABC approved her new show, All My Children, in 1969, which was based on a treatment that Procter & Gamble had rejected a few years earlier.
Saint Joseph, Missouri, USA
Actress, Singer and Political Activist
Claim to Fame
Citizen Kane, Phoebe Tyler on All My Children (1970-2005)
Place of Death
Manhattan, New York, USA
Cause of Death
Ruth Elizabeth Warrick (June 29, 1916 – January 15, 2005), DM, was an American singer, actress and political activist, best known for her role as Phoebe Tyler Wallingford on All My Children, which she played regularly from 1970 until her death in 2005. At the time of her death she was twenty-second on the all-time list of longest-serving soap opera actors in the United States.
Actor/Actress, Other Crew, Soundtrack
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