Legendary Producer Dead at 94

(RepublicanJournal.org) – Movie producers have a difficult job on a set. They are responsible for all of the coordination, planning, directing, casting, marketing, finances, and distribution that goes into a film, and its success or failure depends on them. Very few ever reach the pinnacle of the industry, but Al Ruddy was one of those who did. Sadly, he has passed away at the age of 94.

According to a statement by publicist Susan Patricola, Ruddy died in a Los Angeles hospital on May 25. No cause was given for his death.

Ruddy was born in Canada in 1930, but he moved to New York City when he was seven so his mother could pursue a career as a fur designer. He originally went to school for architecture, receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1956, but just nine years later, in 1965, he turned to film production. Ruddy has a lot of television shows and movies under his belt, the most difficult — and most lauded — is 1971’s “The Godfather.”

The producer jumped through hoops to see that film to completion, which is now heralded as one of the greatest films of all time. It even landed him an Oscar for Best Picture, but it wasn’t easygoing.

Ruddy faced opposition during the creation of “The Godfather,” and even had his car windows shot out, presumably by an actual member of organized crime who took offense to the film, Joseph Colombo Sr. Colombo wasn’t just the founder of the Italian-American Civil Rights League, he actually headed up one of the New York Mafia’s Five Families.

Eventually, Ruddy was able to ease tensions with Colombo and the two met in New York, where they came to an agreement. In fact, the set of the movie was rife with actual mobsters who, according to The Washington Post, joined the cast and served as consultants, in an unofficial capacity, of course. The movie went on to win three Academy Awards.

Ruddy’s career continued long after “The Godfather,” where he served as executive producer on many television shows and movies, including “Million Dollar Baby,” which also won him his second Oscar, a rarity for producers.

Ruddy’s survivors include Wanda McDaniel, his wife of 43 years, and two children, Alexandra and John.

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