Rutanya Alda (born October 13, 1942) is a Latvian-American actress. She began her career in the late 1960s, and would go on to have supporting parts in The Deer Hunter (1978), Rocky II (1979), and the cult film Mommie Dearest (1981). She also appeared in a lead role in the horror films Amityville II: The Possession (1982) and Girls Nite Out (1984).
October 13, 1942
|Other names||Ruth Alda, Ruth Avots|
(m. 1977; died 2006)
Rutanya Alda was born as Rutanya Skrastiņa (Rūta Skrastiņa) in Riga, Latvia, the daughter of Vera (née Ozoliņš), a businesswoman, and Jānis Skrastiņš, a poet. Alda spent the first seven years of her life in a displaced persons camp in Germany amidst World War II. She then relocated with her family to the United States, briefly living in Chicago before settling in Flagstaff, Arizona.
With a career spanning nearly 50 years in show business and over a hundred roles, Alda might be best known for her performances in The Deer Hunter as Steven's wife, Angela, as well as for the cult classic Mommie Dearest, as loyal Crawford housekeeper Carol Ann, and Amityville II: The Possession, having been nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award two years in succession (1982 and 1983) for the latter roles. She has also won a Clio and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Additionally, Alda has appeared in numerous television programs, such as Cold Case, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and as a featured character in the Ron Perlman/Linda Hamilton TV series Beauty and the Beast, as well as commercials and stage work.
In 2009, she appeared in Stolen, playing the elder version of Jessica Chastain's character, and had a supporting role in the horror film Late Phases (2014). Between 2014 and 2016, Alda appeared in the web series Old Dogs & New Tricks.
She was married to actor Richard Bright from 1977 until his death in 2006, when he was hit by a bus in New York City. They had one son, Jeremy.
|1970||Hi, Mom!||Member of audience ('Be Black Baby' section)|
|1970||The People Next Door||Nurse|
|1971||The Panic in Needle Park||Admitting Nurse|
|1973||The Long Goodbye||Rutanya Sweet|
|1973||Scarecrow||Woman in Camper|
|1973||Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid||Ruthie Lee|
|1973||Blume in Love||Welfare Client||Uncredited|
|1974||Can Ellen Be Saved?||Rachael||Television film|
|1976||Next Stop, Greenwich Village||Party Guest||Uncredited|
|1978||The Deer Hunter||Angela|
|1979||Rocky II||Doctor Cooper|
|1979||When a Stranger Calls||Mrs. Mandrakis|
|1980||Christmas Evil||Theresa||Credited as Ratanya Alda|
|1981||Mommie Dearest||Carol Anne|
|1982||Amityville II: The Possession||Dolores Montelli|
|1984||Racing with the Moon||Mrs. Nash|
|1984||Girls Nite Out||Barney / Katie Cavanaugh|
|1988||Apprentice to Murder||Elma Kelly|
|1988||Winnie||Mrs. Paretti||Television film|
|1989||Last Exit to Brooklyn||Georgette's Mother|
|1989||Gross Anatomy||Mama Slovak|
|1990||Rainbow Drive||Marge Crawford||Television film|
|1992||Article 99||Ann Travis|
|1992||Leaving Normal||Palmer Hospital Nurse|
|1993||The Dark Half||Miriam Cowley|
|1993||Children of the Mist||Sue Madehearst|
|1996||Innocent Victims||Lorraine Taylor||Television film|
|1996||Double Jeopardy||Gabriel Neuland||Television film|
|1998||The Souler Opposite||Thea's Mom|
|2001||My First Mister||Woman at Apartment|
|2001||The Glass House||Vice Principal|
|2003||Love Comes Softly||Wanda Marshall||Television film|
|2004||Murder Without Conviction||Virginia McAlpin||Television film|
|2005||Mystery Woman: Snapshot||Marsha||Television film|
|2005||Detective||Judge Beatrice Agannis||Television film|
|2009||Handsome Harry||Mrs. Schroeder|
|2009||Stolen||Older Sally Ann|
|2010||You Don't Know Jack||Vendor||Television film|
|2010||Unring the Bell||Belle||Short film|
|2011||Too Big to Fail||Admiral Evans||Television film|
|2014||Late Phases||Gloria Baker|
Select television roles
- Cannon (1 episode, 1973) – Mrs. Degnan
- ABC Weekend Specials (1986) – Mrs. Linderman
- Spenser: For Hire (1987) – Estelle
- Beauty and the Beast (1988) – Sarah / Mary
- Santa Barbara (5 episodes, 1990) – Mabel Beaufort
- Tales from the Crypt (1991) – Mildred
- Law & Order (2 episodes, 1992-2008) – Ruth Devon / Sara Cheney
- Silk Stalkings (1995) – Jennifer Atkins
- Gun (1997) – Clara Munday
- To Have & to Hold (1998) – Ms. McDougall
- Judging Amy (2001) – Celia Loomis
- John Doe (2002) – Cassie Barker
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent (episode "In the Dark", 2004) – Rose
- Mystery Woman (2005) – Marsha
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2005) – Faye Matthews
- Cold Case (2006) – Jenny
- Old Dogs & New Tricks (2014–16) - Barbara Fiere
- Rutanya Alda Biography
- "Overcoming Adversity: Actress & Author Rutanya Alda Grew Up In WWII Refugee Camp". HooplaHa. YouTube. March 8, 2016. Missing or empty
- Rupe, Shade (October 9, 2015). "Exclusive Interview: Rutanya Alda on AMITYVILLE II, Brian De Palma and the Horrors of MOMMIE DEAREST". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
- Grossberg, Josh (February 21, 2006). ""Godfather" Actor Richard Bright Killed". E! News. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
- "The Lady of the House" by Lee Gambin, Fangoria magazine #317, October 2012, pages 56–57, 97. Interview of Rutanya Alda regarding her role in Amityville II: The Possession. Three-page article has four photos of Alda, one recent, with additional images related to the film.
- David Dye. Child and Youth Actors: Filmography of Their Entire Careers, 1914-1985. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 1988, p. 4.