Al Ruddy dead at 94: Oscar-winning Producer of 'The Godfather' and 'Million Dollar Baby' has passed away

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Hollywood legend Al Ruddy and Oscar-winning producer of ‘The Godfather’ has died at 94.

The family of Al Ruddy, producer of ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Million Dollar Baby’ announced through a publicist that he has died at the age of 94. After a short illness, Al Ruddy passed away in Los Angeles at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Al Ruddy not only produced best picture winners The Godfather and Million Dollar Baby but also co-created the CBS sitcom Hogan’s Heroes. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “On the heels of ‘The Godfather’ (1972), Ruddy produced another box-office hit with the original ‘The Longest Yard’ (1974), the prison-set football movie that starred Burt Reynolds. The pair then worked together on the action road films ‘The Cannonball Run’ (1981) and its 1984 sequel, both directed by stuntman-turned helmer Hal Needham.”

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Al Ruddy was born in Montreal on 28 March 1930, his full name was Albert Stotland Ruddy. When he was seven years old, along with his siblings Selma and Gerland and mother Ruth, who was a luxury fur designer, the family moved to New York. Al Ruddy went on to study chemical engineering at City College of New York where he won a scholarship and then earned a degree in architecture at USC in Los Angeles. 

Following the success of the CBS sitcom Hogan’s Heroes, Al Ruddy also produced the likes of ‘Little Fauss’ and ‘Big Halsy’ as well as ‘Making It,’ he then went on to work on Francis Ford Coppla’s ‘The Godfather’. Al Ruddy also produced movies such as ‘The Cannonball Run’ and the Oscar winning movie ‘Million Dollar Baby.’ 

Hollywood legend Al Ruddy and Oscar-winning producer of ‘The Godfather’ has died at 94.Hollywood legend Al Ruddy and Oscar-winning producer of ‘The Godfather’ has died at 94.
Hollywood legend Al Ruddy and Oscar-winning producer of ‘The Godfather’ has died at 94. | Getty Images for Turner

Hollywood actor Al Pacino paid tribute to Al Ruddy in a statement and said: “Al Ruddy was absolutely beautiful to me the whole time on ‘The Godfather,’ even when they didn;’t want me, he wanted me. He gave me the gift of encouragement when I needed it most and I’ll never forget it.”

Al Pacino was not the only star who paid tribute to Al Ruddy. Clint Eastwood said that “He was a great friend of mine and I will deeply miss him,” whilst Hilary Swank, who starred in Million Dollar Baby, said: “It was the best of times working with (Al). He will always be a legend in my and everyone’s book.”

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Al Ruddy’s wife Wanda paid tribute to him on Facebook and said: “You slayed the game of life, my darling. The void you leave behind is as immense as our love. You were human effervescence, the bubbles in the tonic. As Emily Dickinson said: ‘Unable are  the loved to die, for love is immortality.’ 

“You were adored by so many, a Hollywood legend and sweetheart. Rest in peace my unique, urbane, brilliant husband. You are now my heart- always my forever love and my main in the arena.”

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