Rutanya Alda

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).

Rutanya Alda
Rutanya Skrastiņa

(1942-10-13) October 13, 1942
Riga, Latvia
Other namesRuth Alda, Ruth Avots
Years active1968–present
Richard Bright
(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.[1] Alda spent the first seven years of her life in a displaced persons camp in Germany amidst World War II.[2] She then relocated with her family to the United States, briefly living in Chicago before settling in Flagstaff, Arizona.[2]


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,[3] 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.

Personal life

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.[4] They had one son, Jeremy.



Year Title Role Notes
1968GreetingsLinda (Shoplifter)
1970Hi, Mom!Member of audience ('Be Black Baby' section)
1970The People Next DoorNurse
1971The Panic in Needle ParkAdmitting Nurse
1973The Long GoodbyeRutanya Sweet
1973ScarecrowWoman in Camper
1973Pat Garrett and Billy the KidRuthie Lee
1973Blume in LoveWelfare ClientUncredited
1974Can Ellen Be Saved? RachaelTelevision film
1976Deadly Hero
1976Next Stop, Greenwich VillageParty GuestUncredited
1976SwashbucklerBath Attendant
1978The FuryKristen
1978The Deer HunterAngela
1979Rocky IIDoctor Cooper
1979When a Stranger CallsMrs. Mandrakis
1980Christmas EvilTheresaCredited as Ratanya Alda
1981Mommie DearestCarol Anne
1982Amityville II: The PossessionDolores Montelli
1983VigilanteVickie Marino
1984Racing with the MoonMrs. Nash
1984Girls Nite OutBarney / Katie Cavanaugh
1985The StuffPsychologist
1987Black WidowIrene
1987HotshotGeorgia Kristidis
1988Apprentice to MurderElma Kelly
1988WinnieMrs. ParettiTelevision film
1989Last Exit to BrooklynGeorgette's Mother
1989Gross AnatomyMama Slovak
1989PrancerAunt Sarah
1990Rainbow DriveMarge CrawfordTelevision film
1992Article 99Ann Travis
1992Leaving NormalPalmer Hospital Nurse
1993The Dark HalfMiriam Cowley
1993Children of the MistSue Madehearst
1994The RefLinda
1994Safe PassageBeth
1996Innocent VictimsLorraine TaylorTelevision film
1996Double JeopardyGabriel NeulandTelevision film
1997American PerfektGloria
1997SteelMrs. Hunt
1998The Souler Opposite Thea's Mom
2001My First MisterWoman at Apartment
2001The Glass HouseVice Principal
2003Love Comes SoftlyWanda MarshallTelevision film
2004Murder Without ConvictionVirginia McAlpinTelevision film
2005Mystery Woman: SnapshotMarshaTelevision film
2005DetectiveJudge Beatrice AgannisTelevision film
2009Handsome HarryMrs. Schroeder
2009StolenOlder Sally Ann
2010You Don't Know JackVendorTelevision film
2010Unring the BellBelleShort film
2011Return Mrs. Miller
2011Too Big to Fail Admiral EvansTelevision film
2014Late PhasesGloria Baker

Select television roles



  1. Rutanya Alda Biography
  2. "Overcoming Adversity: Actress & Author Rutanya Alda Grew Up In WWII Refugee Camp". HooplaHa. YouTube. March 8, 2016. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  3. Rupe, Shade (October 9, 2015). "Exclusive Interview: Rutanya Alda on AMITYVILLE II, Brian De Palma and the Horrors of MOMMIE DEAREST". Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  4. Grossberg, Josh (February 21, 2006). ""Godfather" Actor Richard Bright Killed". E! News. Retrieved October 20, 2017.

Further reading

  • "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.
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