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Mercedes Ruehl

Mercedes Ruehl

Birthday: 28 February 1948, Queens, New York City, New York, USA
Birth Name: Mercedes J. Ruehl
Height: 178 cm

Mercedes Ruehl was born February 28, 1948 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City to Mercedes Ruehl, a school teacher, and Vincent Ruehl, an FBI agent. She made several film and television appearanc ...Show more

Mercedes Ruehl
[accepting her Tony award for Lost in Yonkers] Thank you. This is one of the great moments of my lif Show more [accepting her Tony award for Lost in Yonkers] Thank you. This is one of the great moments of my life. It's very hard to breathe. With all due respect to the great House of Chanel, the dress doesn't make it any easier! Hide
[on The Warriors (1979)] That's the first thing I ever did. I remember filming that little scene and Show more [on The Warriors (1979)] That's the first thing I ever did. I remember filming that little scene and being terrified, just a scared thing, like a quivering aspen leaf. I wasn't prepared for it. Hide
[on winning a Tony and an Oscar within a year of each other] That blew me away. I didn't see it comi Show more [on winning a Tony and an Oscar within a year of each other] That blew me away. I didn't see it coming! You think, "Well, I'm made in the shade for life." You go through this period of assuming the fountain will never cease giving forth and the roles will never cease coming. So you buy your own hype for a little bit, and you have to be cut down to size again. Oh, the cycles of life! But yes, that was a wonderful time. Hide
[on stage vs screen] Stage is harder, and it pays less, and it's gruelling and I like it much better Show more [on stage vs screen] Stage is harder, and it pays less, and it's gruelling and I like it much better. Because on stage it's the actor's medium; film is the director's medium and television is arguably the producer/writer's medium. But on stage, you get out there, you're creating a character, nobody can pull you off, nobody can edit you and you can get deeply into a character and dwell there. Hide
[on Big (1988)] I remember watching Tom Hanks in the scene where he first sees himself, as an adult, Show more [on Big (1988)] I remember watching Tom Hanks in the scene where he first sees himself, as an adult, in the bathroom mirror. He did at least 12 takes. Every time, he did something different; every time, believable. I was astounded by his level of concentration: Boy, that's really a superior practitioner of this craft! Hide
[on life as a struggling actress] I must have worked in at least a dozen places in New York as a wai Show more [on life as a struggling actress] I must have worked in at least a dozen places in New York as a waitress. I was a milkmaid in the ice cream corner of the Plaza Hotel; I had to wear a milkmaid's costume. I worked at Teachers on the Upper West Side, at the Buffalo Roadhouse in Greenwich Village and I did a memorable summer at the White Horse Café. I was terrible when I started, but after about five or six years I became dangerously good at it, maybe even better at that time than I was as an actress. I also passed out leaflets and modelled fur coats for a few weeks at the Sheraton. I got one job through a friend - she said, "Look, you can get $125 if you put on a costume and be the Sauza Tequila rooster at the Coliseum." It was for the New York ski show for a weekend. I had great legs in those days, I must say. I had this huge, ugly, seven-foot costume on, but my legs were just in red tights, and all day long, gentlemen would come up to me and say, "Darling, can I be around when you take that rooster costume off?" Hide
[1991, on working with Jeff Bridges on The Fisher King (1991)] There are waters that run very deep i Show more [1991, on working with Jeff Bridges on The Fisher King (1991)] There are waters that run very deep in him. On the set when we were working, he showed the ultimate respect of one actor for another. He saw you, heard you and was totally responsive through every take. Hide
[on Married to the Mob (1988)] The first day shooting, I got there, like, two hours early. I got sui Show more [on Married to the Mob (1988)] The first day shooting, I got there, like, two hours early. I got suited up in all that makeup, which was a lot because we were playing Long Island mob housewives. I'd been working my five lines all that time, just pacing-pacing-pacing. Finally, just before I walk on the set, I decide I'm going to go to the bathroom one more time. So I go. And I get locked in the bathroom. Now, there's so much happening on the set that nobody can hear me knocking and calling. And I'm thinking, "I am dead in the water. I am an unemployed actress." Finally, somebody springs me from the bathroom, and I get on the set and everybody laughs, thank god. From that moment on, working on the movie was delightful. Hide
[on The Fisher King (1991)] The screenplay was witty, more or less perfect - one of the few I ever w Show more [on The Fisher King (1991)] The screenplay was witty, more or less perfect - one of the few I ever worked on that didn't have to be re-tooled or re-doctored. It was written by Richard LaGravenese and of all the writers I've worked with before or since in film - any kind of film, television film, feature film - he writes for women; he writes for women with a knowing instinct, the way Tennessee Williams wrote for women with a knowing instinct, and so it was my role in that film and how he wrote it and how sympathetic he was for it and because there was a great deal of Richard actually in that role, that I think on an unconscious level it just kind of powered through. Hide
[on playing Connie Russo in Married to the Mob (1988)] That was fun from beginning to end. Jonathan Show more [on playing Connie Russo in Married to the Mob (1988)] That was fun from beginning to end. Jonathan Demme just kept saying, "Take her further, further, further." So I did, I did, I did. Hide
[1991, on working with Robin Williams on The Fisher King (1991)] His is a different rhythm altogethe Show more [1991, on working with Robin Williams on The Fisher King (1991)] His is a different rhythm altogether, much more improvisory, but he has that quality of seeing and listening too, a free-wheeling pas de deux. When he is acting and not doing stand-up, you see the pentimento of the Juilliard student who did Shakespeare and you see a technique and discipline exclusively an actor's. Hide
[accepting her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Fisher King (1991)] I went to New York to study Show more [accepting her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Fisher King (1991)] I went to New York to study acting the summer I was 21 and like thousands of actors before me and thousands of actors after me, I went through the usual scores of moonlighting jobs and the usual scores of rejection and the usual legions of prophets of doom who were always there and always at the ready to give you the up-to-minute odds against you ever making anything of yourself in this business. And at this moment, all of those doleful memories have suddenly transformed themselves into nothing more than the sort of charming and amusing anecdotes from my memoirs! Hide
[accepting her Golden Globe for The Fisher King (1991)] When I was a kid in New York City studying a Show more [accepting her Golden Globe for The Fisher King (1991)] When I was a kid in New York City studying acting, it was a fairly easy thing to be a sort of bright-eyed true believer in lofty things like art for art's sake, but that sort of - if you're lucky enough to make some money at this business - makes way for exactly that: the business aspect of it. And while I'm not encouraging any potential employers in this room to underpay me to return me to that original state of idealism, I would like to say that it's sweet - as sweet as it is rare - to be in a project that quite naturally returns that to you for a while, and that was what Fisher King was to me. Hide
Mercedes Ruehl's FILMOGRAPHY
as Actor (27)
Mercedes Ruehl Mercedes Ruehl'S roles
Anne
Anne

Mrs. Baskin
Mrs. Baskin

Detective Goochberg
Detective Goochberg

Connie Russo
Connie Russo

Sheila
Sheila

Policewoman
Policewoman

Kate Costas
Kate Costas

Janice Lever
Janice Lever

Rita Chase
Rita Chase

Kathleen Carangi
Kathleen Carangi

Marie Quinn
Marie Quinn

Irene Madigan
Irene Madigan

Olga
Olga

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