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Ann Rutherford

Ann RutherfordAKA Therese Ann Rutherford

Born: 2-Nov-1917
Birthplace: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Died: 11-Jun-2012
Location of death: Beverly Hills, CA
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, CA

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Andy Hardy's girlfriend Polly

Ann Rutherford was a lead actress in low-budget films in the 1930s and 1940s. She was raised in a show-business family, and worked as a child actress in radio and theatrical productions. If her birthdate is accurate (always iffy with actresses of her era) she was 15 when she starred in her first film, Waterfront Lady, in 1935. For several years, she worked at Republic Pictures, starring opposite Gene Autry in Melody Trail and The Singing Vagabond and John Wayne in The Lonely Trail and The Lawless Nineties.

Republic, though, was a low-prestige operation, so when her contract lapsed Rutherford jumped to MGM, where she played Polly, Mickey Rooney's object of chaste desire in a dozen "Andy Hardy" films that seem corny now, but were wildly popular in the late 1930s and '40s. She was often called "America's Sweetheart", featured in fawning profiles in celebrity magazines, and posed in ads for Cannon Hosiery and Royal Crown Cola. Rutherford also played sister of the leading lady in the classics Gone with the Wind and Pride and Prejudice, and starred opposite Red Skelton in the comedy-mystery Whistling in the Dark and two sequels, Whistling in Dixie and Whistling in Brooklyn.

She disappeared from films in the 1950s, but came out of retirement in the 1970s to occasionally play Suzanne Pleshette's mother on The Bob Newhart Show. Her last feature film was Won Ton Ton, The Dog Who Saved Hollywood, where she had a tiny role as Bruce Dern's secretary.

Rutherford's first husband was David May, about whom little is known. Her second husband, William Dozier, had formerly been married to Joan Fontaine, and was a film and TV producer with a taste for overblown action -- his credits range from the cheap mid-1950s science fiction series Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers to The Green Hornet to the campy 1960s series Batman, on which Dozier was also the unseen narrator ("Same bat-time, same bat-channel). Her stepson Robert Dozier was a longtime TV writer for shows like Dan August and Harry O, and scripted Judy Garland's last and perhaps most melodramatic film, I Could Go On Singing.

Father: John Defferin Rutherford ("Juan Guilberty", opera singer)
Mother: Lucille Mansfield (stage actress)
Sister: Laurette Rutherford ("Judith Arlen", actress, b. 18-Mar-1914, d. 5-Jun-1968)
Husband: David May (m. 24-Dec-1942, div. 1953, two children)
Daughter: Gloria May (b. 1943)
Husband: William Dozier (producer, b. 1908, m. 6-Oct-1953, d. 23-Apr-1991)
Daughter: Deborah Dozier Potter (stepdaughter)
Son: Robert Dozier (stepson)

    High School: Fairfax High School (Los Angeles, CA)

    Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (26-May-1976)
    They Only Kill Their Masters (22-Nov-1972)
    Operation Haylift (5-May-1950)
    Adventures of Don Juan (1-Dec-1948) · Doņa Elena
    The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (14-Aug-1947) · Gertrude Griswold
    Inside Job (14-Jun-1946)
    Murder in the Music Hall (10-Apr-1946)
    Bedside Manner (14-Jun-1945) · Lola Cross
    Two O'Clock Courage (13-Apr-1945) · Patty Mitchell
    Bermuda Mystery (1-May-1944)
    Whistling in Brooklyn (Dec-1943)
    Happy Land (10-Nov-1943)
    Whistling in Dixie (31-Dec-1942) · Carol Lambert
    Andy Hardy's Double Life (Dec-1942) · Polly Benedict
    Orchestra Wives (4-Sep-1942) · Connie Ward
    The Courtship of Andy Hardy (Mar-1942)
    This Time for Keeps (Mar-1942) · Katherine White
    Life Begins for Andy Hardy (15-Aug-1941) · Polly Benedict
    Whistling in the Dark (8-Aug-1941)
    Washington Melodrama (18-Apr-1941) · Laurie Claymore
    Andy Hardy's Private Secretary (21-Feb-1941) · Polly Benedict
    Keeping Company (27-Dec-1940)
    Wyoming (13-Sep-1940) · Lucy Kincaid
    Pride and Prejudice (26-Jul-1940) · Lydia Bennet
    Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (5-Jul-1940) · Polly Benedict
    The Ghost Comes Home (8-Mar-1940) · Billie Adams
    Judge Hardy and Son (22-Dec-1939) · Polly Benedict
    Gone with the Wind (15-Dec-1939) · Carreen O'Hara
    Dancing Co-Ed (29-Sep-1939)
    These Glamour Girls (18-Aug-1939)
    Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (18-Jul-1939) · Polly Benedict
    The Hardys Ride High (14-Apr-1939)
    Four Girls in White (27-Jan-1939) · Patricia Page
    A Christmas Carol (16-Dec-1938) · Spirit of Christmas Past
    Dramatic School (9-Dec-1938) · Yvonne
    Out West with the Hardys (25-Nov-1938) · Polly Benedict
    Love Finds Andy Hardy (22-Jul-1938) · Polly Benedict
    Judge Hardy's Children (26-Mar-1938)
    Of Human Hearts (5-Feb-1938) · Annie Hawks
    You're Only Young Once (10-Dec-1937) · Polly Benedict
    Public Cowboy No. 1 (23-Aug-1937) · Helen Morgan
    The Lonely Trail (25-May-1936)
    Comin' Round the Mountain (31-Mar-1936) · Dolores Moreno
    The Lawless Nineties (15-Feb-1936)
    The Singing Vagabond (16-Dec-1935) · Lettie Morgan
    Melody Trail (21-Oct-1935) · Millicent Thomas

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