Lurene Tuttle (Lurene Tuttle)

Lurene Tuttle

Actress. She is best remembered for variety of roles on the stage, in vaudeville, radio, television and movies. Born in Pleasant Lake, Indiana, she was raised on a ranch in Arizona. She studied acting in Phoenix and was known to steal the scene in her early roles. She began in the vaudeville company, Murphy’s Comedians,” and then moved on to stock stage shows, although she never made it to Broadway. During the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, she worked consistently on the stage. Known for her fine voice, she moved on to radio during the Great Depression years, becoming one of the most recognized voices on that medium, being called “The First Lady of Radio.” She is perhaps best remembered during that time period in the role of Effie, the lovable gal Friday on the weekly radio show “The Adventures of Sam Spade,” but she played other voices in the same serial as well. During this time, she married Mel Ruick, a fellow radio actor and announcer, with whom she would have one child, a daughter Barbara Ruick, who would follow in her parents’ footsteps by becoming an actress herself. In the 1950s, Lurene moved on to film and television, fitting into stereotypical feisty matron type roles. She played opposite many of the top names in Hollywood at the time, including Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, Joan Crawford, and Liberace, however, truly leading lady type roles eluded her. Her best remembered leading role oddly enough went to her character in the title role of “Ma Barker’s Killer Brood” (1960), a B-film that had her setting people on fire, running over cops, and machine-gunning her way to highly fictionalized infamy. She unexpectedly lost her husband in 1972 and her only child two years later when Barbara died at age 43 of a cerebral hemorrhage. But she continued to make movies and guest television appearances until her death in 1986, showing up in such movies as “The Clonus Horror” (1979), “Human Experiments” (1980), and “Evil Town” (1987; released after her death), and in such television programs as Mannix, Medical Center, Little House on the Prairie, Law and Order, Dukes of Hazzard, Fantasy Island, and the Beverly Hillbillies. She was survived by three grandchildren, with whom she remained close: Jennifer Williams Gruska, Mark Williams, and Joseph Williams. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)  Family links:  Spouse:  Melville Hughes Ruick (1898 – 1972)*  Children:  Barbara Ruick (1930 – 1974)* *Calculated relationship Inscription:Loving Mother, GrandmotherGreat Grandmother And Friend

Born

  • August, 29, 1907
  • USA

Died

  • May, 05, 1986
  • USA

Cemetery

  • Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
  • California
  • USA

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