Barbara Ruick, the ex wife of John Williams was a bundle of sunshine and energy. Read on further to know about some interesting facts about the actress.
Barbara Ruick was considered a bundle of joy and unabashed energy. The lovely musical actress Barbara Ruick entertained her audiences for more than two decades. She had lovely brown eyes. The actress and singer could not make it big in the dancing department but managed to carve a niche for herself at musical stardom in the 1950s films and almost nailed it. Ruick was a vivacious beauty who was always fresh and full of vigor. Her fresh-faced appeal reminded one of a Mitzi Gaynor or Vera-Ellen. She died young at the age of 41 and her untimely death robbed Hollywood of a Tried-and-tested true talent. Barbara Ruick was born in 1930 in Sunny Pasadena, California. She was the daughter of show biz professionals. Her father, Mel Ruick was a respected radio actor and announcer and her mother Lurene Tuttle was a radio player and later became a reliable TV and movie performer. Her mother used to play a lovely assortment of fluttery matrons and mothering type of roles. Ruick was deeply influenced by her parents’ successful careers. The blonde and brown eyed beauty started acting in Tv and on radio as a Hollywood High School teenager. Ruick got her first job in the chorus of Chico Marx’s TV show despite the fact that she lacked the grace and luster in dancing. Soon, she appeared in other TV shows as she turned 21. MGM noticed her and signed her for a long-term contract with the topnotch studio. She appeared in the roles of starlet parts with small or unbilled roles in both dramatic and music outings including ‘Invitation’ in 1952, ‘Scaramouche’ in 1952 and ‘Fearless Fagan’ in 1952. She got some slightly better parts in films like ‘You for Me’ in 1952, ‘Above and Beyond’ in 1952 and ‘Apache War Smoke’ in 1952. She appeared with her future husband Robert Horton in ‘Apache War Smoke’. Robert Horton was known for his rugged appearances in several westerns. They married in Las Vegas in 1953. After that, she found sheer frustration for the next couple of years at MGM. She finally managed to grab her second femme lead role in the movie, ‘The Affairs of Dobie Gillis’ in 1953 alongside Bobby Van, Bob Fosse and Debbie Reynolds. But after that, she was again rolled back into bit parts by MGM in films like ‘Confidentially Connie’ in 1953, ‘I Love Melvin’ in 1953 and’The Band Wagon’ in 1953. She retreated from MGM and Hollywood and moved to New York to concentrate on her career on TV. She got a number of assignments including a number of variety show appearances. She appeared as bright and breezy and regular for such stalwarts as Jerry Colonna, Ezio Pinza and Johnny Carson. She was at her dramatic best in programs such as ‘The New Loretta Young Show’ in 1962, ‘Public Defender’ in 1954 and ‘The Lineup’ in 1954. She suddenly one day got the most important film role of her career in Hollywood. She starred in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic ‘Carousel’ in 1956. She thought that stardom was then just within reach as she won the cute and flighty Carrie Piperidge role alongside Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones in ‘Carousel’. Ruick also shined in the 20th Century-Fox production in the ‘When I Marry Mr. Snow’. But sadly, this success did not get her any other film and this was her last movie for nearly two decades. She also sang and recorded for the Columbia Records in this period but none of her songs made it to the top of the charts. Ruick appeared on TV also in the late 50s. Her role as the evil stepsister in ‘The Stepsisters Lament’ in the musical special ‘Cinderella’ got her rave reviews. ‘Cinderella’ released in 1965. Ruick was also seen as a barmaid in the comedy film, ‘California Split’ in 1974. ‘California Split’ also had Elliot Gould and George Segal. Ruick died suddenly due to cerebral hemorrhage in 1974. Her grave memorial is at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in California. She died in Nevada but her grave is in Glendale, California.
The ex wife of John Williams
Ruick divorced actor husband Horton in 1956. The ex wife of Horton, Ruick married Academy Award-winning composer and Boston Pops conductor John Williams in 1956. John Williams and Ruick together had a daughter and two sons. The boys went on to have musical careers and their daughter became a doctor.
Other interesting facts
Ruick’s son Joseph Williams was the lead singer of Toto from 1986 to 1989. He was also the singing voice of the adult Simba in Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ in 1994. Her son, Mark Towner Williams is a recording artist and music producer. He has recorded numerous CDs under the name of ‘Lionel’s Dad’. He is also the drummer and music director for the group ‘Air Supply’. Ruick was also the former roommate of her ‘Carousel’ co-star, Shirley Jones in New York when they were both just starting out. Ruick also sang ‘When I Marry Mr. Snow’ at the marriage ceremony of Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy. Her husband John Williams composed ‘Treesong’, a concerto for violin in loving memory of his deceased wife. The net worth of Barbara Ruick cannot be estimated right now but the net worth of her husband John Williams is $100 million.