Godfather’ Producer Al Rudy Passes At 94

(IntegrityPress.org) – Award winning movie producer Albert S. Ruddy died on May 25 at the age of 94, his family have confirmed. Ruddy died while receiving care at the UCLA Ronald Regan Medical Center after a short period of illness.

Best known for producing Oscar winners such as “The Godfather” and “Million Dollar Baby”, the Montreal-born movie maker grew up in New York City before finding success in Hollywood. His production career took off after he befriended television actor Bernard Fein in the 1960’s and the pair created the concept for “Hogan’s Heroes”, a sitcom portraying the lives of Allied prisoners incarcerated in Nazi prisoner of war camps.

He later became the sole producer for “The Godfather”, which would go on to earn the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1973. Ruddy’s methods were at times unconventional. During production, he heard gunshots near his home and found that his car windows had been shot at, and a threatening note left behind. Instead of abandoning the project, he decided to organize a meeting with real-life gangster Joseph Colombo to discuss the movie script. With the promise of minor amendments, he managed to win Colombo over to such an extent that the crime boss asked to stand by Ruddy’s side during a press conference to show his endorsement. Despite Colombo’s endorsement, Ruddy was fired for his actions. The movie’s director, Frank Coppola, insisted that he be rehired. Not only did Ruddy get his job back, but the movie even ended up using real mobsters to play background characters.

Many of Ruddy’s friends and former colleagues have spoken highly of him since news of his death broke. Clint Eastwood called him a “great friend” who would be sorely missed. Al Pacino spoke of Ruddy’s encouragement towards him on set of “The Godfather”, saying that he would “never forget” it. Ruddy is survived by his wife of 43 years, Wanda McDaniel. McDaniel is a Giorgio Armani executive and mother to Ruddy’s two children, John and Alexandra.

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