Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

April 22, 2005

Ruth Hussey, 93, who was best known for her Oscar-nominated role as James Stewart's sassy photographer girlfriend in the classic 1940 film The Philadelphia Story, died Tuesday at a convalescent home in Newbury Park, Calif.

Her son John Longenecker said she died of complications from an appendectomy.

From the late 1930s through 1960, she made dozens of films. She also was a stage actress, appearing on Broadway in 1945 in the hit State of the Union and 1949 in the comedy Goodbye, My Fancy, and later had many television roles.

Born in Providence, R.I., she graduated from Pembroke Women's College at Brown University and the drama school at the University of Michigan.

She began her career as a radio fashion commentator and later was a model in New York.

She toured with stage companies and won an MGM contract when a talent agent spotted her during a road production in Los Angeles.

Her first movie role, in the 1937 Spencer Tracy film Big City, was uncredited. Three years later, she was Tracy's leading lady in Northwest Passage.

She also starred opposite Robert Taylor in Flight Command (1940), Melvyn Douglas in Our Wife (1941), Van Heflin in Tennessee Johnson (1943), Ray Milland in The Uninvited (1944) and John Carroll in Bedside Manner (1945).

She received an Oscar nomination for supporting actress for playing Elizabeth Imbrie, the sassy photographer who accompanies Stewart to cover a socialite's wedding.

She lost to Jane Darwell, who was Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath.

Her last feature film role was in 1960 in The Facts of Life, playing Bob Hope's wife.

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