Home > 

Celebrated Hollywood Producer Albert S Ruddy Passes Away at 94 Leaving an Enduring Legacy

Canadian-American film and TV producer Albert S Ruddy, who garnered widespread acclaim and earned Oscars for his work on cinematic masterpieces such as “The Godfather” and “Million Dollar Baby,” has passed away at the age of 94. The news was reported by The Hollywood Reporter. Ruddy’s illustrious career also saw him credited as one of the creators of the long-running CBS police drama “Walker, Texas Ranger.”

Ruddy passed away at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he had been admitted for the treatment of a brief illness, as confirmed by his family through a publicist. He leaves behind an indelible mark on the industry with a portfolio that encapsulates some of television and film’s most iconic productions.

Among Ruddy’s significant contributions to television is the CBS sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes,” which he co-created. The producer’s talents also extended to the creation and production of the long-running CBS drama “Walker, Texas Ranger,” as well as the sports comedy-drama “The Longest Yard.” After collaborating on “The Longest Yard,” Ruddy and actor Burt Reynolds reunited for “The Cannonball Run” and its 1984 sequel.

His family recounted that Ruddy’s filmography spanned a variety of genres and forms. Notably, he produced “Bad Girls” (1994), the first Western with an all-female lead cast, starring Madeleine Stowe, Mary Stuart Masterson, Andie MacDowell, and Drew Barrymore. He also helmed the baseball comedy “The Scout” (1994) with Albert Brooks and Brendan Fraser, and the quirky comedy “Matilda” (1978), featuring Elliott Gould and a boxing kangaroo—a film which Ruddy also wrote.

Despite his many successes, Ruddy encountered significant challenges. Following the triumphs of “The Godfather” and “The Longest Yard,” Ruddy faced hurdles with his next Paramount feature, “Coonskin” (1975). The animated/live-action comedy, which was set in Harlem and parodied racial relations, was written and directed by Ralph Bakshi. However, the film sparked controversy, inciting protests and being labeled as racist, which ultimately led Paramount to opt out of distributing the movie.

Join Get ₹99!


Ruddy’s body of work includes numerous other films, showcasing his versatility and commitment to storytelling. His producing efforts included action-comedy “Death Hunt” (1981), the sci-fi flick “Megaforce” (1982), the Tom Selleck thriller “Lassiter” (1984), the Rodney Dangerfield soccer-centric “Ladybugs” (1992), and drama films like “Prisoners” (1996) and “Mean Machine” (2001). More recent credits include “Camille” (2008), the action film “Sabotage” (2014), and the Clint Eastwood-directed “Cry Macho” (2021). Additionally, Ruddy both wrote and produced the sports comedy “Cloud Nine” (2006).

Ruddy is survived by his wife Wanda McDaniel, a former journalist who managed image management for Giorgio Armani in Hollywood since 1981. He also leaves behind his children, John and Alexandra, his producing partner and a principal at Albert S. Ruddy Productions, as well as his son-in-law, screenwriter Abdullah Saeed.

Reflecting on Ruddy’s life and career, his family highlighted his character and impact on those around him. “To his contemporaries in the business, Ruddy is best remembered for his easy-going nature, his undeniable comedic sense, and his undying interest in people and the stories we tell,” they said. In a particularly poignant note, the family shared some of Ruddy’s final words: “The game is over, but we won the game,” a sentiment that encapsulates his approach to both life and work.

The legacy of Albert S Ruddy is one of enduring influence, creativity, and an unwavering dedication to the arts. Through his impressive and varied body of work, he has left a lasting impression on Hollywood and the countless individuals who have enjoyed his productions. His contributions to film and television will undoubtedly be remembered and celebrated for generations to come.

The Hollywood and entertainment community is indeed poorer for his loss, yet enriched by the remarkable body of work he leaves behind. As fans around the world mourn the passing of this legendary figure, they do so with gratitude for the joy and profundity his creations brought into their lives.