Ann Rutherford (Who’s Who at MGM, 1937) 🇺🇸

January 09, 2022

It was natural for Ann Rutherford to want to be an actress. Her father was a well known tenor, her mother played in a number of early motion pictures, and the great Richard Mansfield, famous for his Shakespearean roles, was her cousin.

The daughter of John Dufferin Rutherford and Lucille Mansfield Rutherford was born in Toronto, Canada, November 2. Her father was formerly with the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York and had sung in American concert tours under the name of Juan Guilberti.

Ann is a descendant of the noted clergyman, Rev. Samuel Rutherford of Anworth, Scotland, and a grand-daughter of Dr. Samuel George Rutherford, member of the British Parliament.

First Stage Role

When Ann was four months of age, her parents moved to San Francisco, where her father became a real estate broker. She learned to read at the age of four years, her favorite books being the “Wizard of Oz” series. A stock company opened in San Francisco when Ann was in the first grade. Her mother took her to the theatre, because children were needed to play in the company’s first production, “Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch.” Ann got the job and later toured West Coast cities for several months, continuing her education with a tutor who traveled with the troupe.

After that beginning, she returned to San Francisco and was enrolled in the Pacific Heights grade school. But whenever there was a part available in a show she left to go on the road, always accompanied by her mother. She continued this career until she was 11, when she and her mother moved to Los Angeles. Ann attended the Alta Loma grade school, the Virgil junior high, and the Los Angeles and Fairfax high schools.

On the Air

While still in school, she decided to get part-time work in radio. She applied for an audition, which was successful and she was given a role in a program called “Gems of Destiny.” She continued on radio programs for nearly four years, leaving school to devote all her time to that work, playing all types of roles from a crying baby to the wife of a hill-billy. A talent scout heard of her work on the radio and arranged a screen test.

Offered a contract by Republic, she went immediately into the lead of “Waterfront Lady” with Frank Albertson. In the following eight months she played in twelve pictures at that studio. She remembers with gratitude the great assistance given her by Lew Ayres, then learning to be a director.

Break from Short

Ann came to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to play in the short subject, “Annie Laurie,” next appeared with Richard Dix in “The Devil Is Driving,” and then was signed as a featured player by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as a result of her work in “Carnival in Paris” for that studio. She next appeared in “Live, Love and Learn,” with Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell and The Bride Wore Red with Joan Crawford.

She is five feet, three and one-half inches tall, weighs 110 pounds, has dark hair and brown eyes. She plays a good game of tennis, is practicing archery and taking riding lessons. As her “greatest fear,” she lists a runaway horse.

She considers “The Good Earth” her favorite picture, and Pearl Buck her favorite author. As a scent she likes gardenia best.

Among the plays she appeared in as a child actress on the West Coast, are “Little Women,” “Seventeen,” “Peter Pan,” “Snow-White and Rose-Red,” “Daddy Long Legs” and “Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch.”

Source: Who’s Who at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1937