Born Norma Roman in Lynn, Massachusetts on December 22, 1922, Ruth Roman was the youngest of three daughters born to an immigrant carnival barker and his wife. Roman's father died when she was a child, so her mother supported the family taking odd jobs. In the late 1930s, she dropped out of high school and took up acting, entering films in the early 1940s. Several years of small and often uncredited roles followed until Roman was cast as the title character Lothel, the Jungle Queen in Universal's adventure serial Jungle Queen (1945). The serial was not a success, and Roman went back to bit parts for a couple of years. Her next important role came in the western Belle Starr's Daughter (1948; with George Montgomery). Afterward, Roman would appear frequently in westerns and dramas. Upon signing with Warner Bros. in 1948, Roman appeared in several 'A' pictures including the film noir thrillers Beyond the Forest (1949; with Bette Davis and Joseph Cotten) and Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1951; with Robert Walker and Farley Granger).

Ruth RomanRuth Roman
Early 1950s Warner Bros. cheesecake photos of Ruth Roman

She left the studio following the birth of her son and eventually signed with Universal-International in 1953. While she made a number of good 'B' films at Universal, these lacked the higher production values of her Warner Bros. movies. By 1957, Roman was cut loose by Universal, as that studio got rid of most of its contract players in the late 1950s.

the films of ruth roman

Barricade (1950)

Ruth Roman and Robert DouglasDane Clark and Ruth Roman

From the Warner Bros. western Barricade. LEFT: With Robert Douglas. RIGHT: With Dane Clark

Colt .45 (1950)

Lloyd Bridges, Ruth Roman, and Zachary Scott

With Lloyd Bridges and Zachary Scott in the Warner Bros. western Colt .45

Dallas (1950)

Gary Cooper and Ruth Roman

From the Warner Bros. western Dallas with Gary Cooper

Three Secrets (1950)

Ruth Roman

With Eleanor Parker in the Warner Bros. drama Three Secrets

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Patricia Hitchcock, Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, and Leo G. Carroll

From Alfred Hitchcock's thriller Strangers on a Train, released by Warner Bros. Pictured are Patricia Hitchcock, Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, and Leo G. Carroll

Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951)

Ruth Roman and Steve Cochran

With Steve Cochran in the Warner Bros. noir thriller Tomorrow Is Another Day

Young Man with Ideas (1952)

Nina Foch and Ruth Roman

From the MGM comedy/drama Young Man with Ideas with Nina Foch

Mara Maru (1952)

Errol Flynn and Ruth Roman

With Errol Flynn in the Warner Bros. adventure Mara Maru

The Far Country (1954)

Ruth Roman

As Ronda Castle in the Universal-International western The Far Country

Tanganyika (1954)

Ruth Roman

From the Universal-International adventure flick Tanganyika

Joe MacBeth (1955)

Ruth RomanPaul Douglas and Ruth Roman

From Columbia's Joe MacBeth, a film that gives the film noir treatment to William Shakespeare's MacBeth. The right photo includes Paul Douglas as the title character

The Bottom of the Bottle (1956)

Van Johnson and Ruth Roman

With Van Johnson in the 20th Century Fox release The Bottom of the Bottle

The Sinner (1957)

Ruth RomanRuth Roman and Akim Tamiroff

From the Italian romance The Sinner. This film was released in the U.S. in 1959 under the title Desert Desperados. The right photo includes Akim Tamiroff

Look in Any Window (1961)

Ruth Roman and Paul Anka

Paul Anka portrays Ruth Roman's son in the Allied Artists drama Look in Any Window

Love Has Many Faces (1965)

Hugh O'Brian and Ruth Roman

With Hugh O'Brian in Columbia's scandalous potboiler Love Has Many Faces

The F.B.I. (1965-1974 ABC TV Series)

Cherylene Lee and Ruth Roman

From a January 1967 episode of The F.B.I. titled The Courier. Also pictured is Cherylene Lee

Day of the Animals (1977)

Ruth Roman, Lynda Day George, and Andrew Stevens

From the low budget horror flick Day of the Animals with Lynda Day George and Andrew Stevens

later years

Without the support of a large studio, Ruth Roman's film appearances became sporadic in the late 1950s. She made just three films in the 1960s, including Milagro a los cobardes (1962), a Spanish production never released in the U.S. However, she appeared frequently on popular television programs including Burke's Law, The Outer Limits, and The Name of the Game through the late 1980s. In the early 1970s, she starred in several effective horror shockers, including The Killing Kind (1973; with Ann Sothern) and The Baby (1973; with Anjanette Comer and Marianna Hill). Her last film was the low-budget indie horror flick Echoes (1983 with Gale Sondergaard and Mercedes McCambridge). She finished her career on television with a recurring role on Knots Landing in 1986 and in a few guest appearances on Murder, She Wrote in the late 1980s. Sadly, Ruth Roman passed away in her sleep at her Laguna Beach home on September 9, 1999, at the age of 76. She was survived by her son, Richard.

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This listing is mostly complete but does not include all television appearances and uncredited film performances:
Echoes, aka Living Nightmare (1983) with Gale Sondergaard and Mercedes McCambridge
Willow B: Women in Prison (1980) with Carol Lynley and Sally Kirkland
The Sacketts (1979) with Sam Elliot, Gilbert Roland, Tom Selleck, Glenn Ford, and Mercedes McCambridge
Day of the Animals (1977) with Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Leslie Nielsen, Michael Ansara, Paul Mantee, and Andrew Stevens
Impulse (1974) with William Shatner and Harold Sakata
A Knife for the Ladies (1974) with Jack Elam
Punch and Jody (1974) with Glenn Ford and Parley Baer
The Baby (1973) with Anjanette Comer and Marianna Hill
The Killing Kind (1973) with Ann Sothern, Luana Anders, John Savage, and Cindy Williams
Go Ask Alice (1973) with William Shatner, Julie Adams, Robert Carradine, Andy Griffith, and Mackenzie Phillips
Incident in San Francisco (1971) with Leslie Nielsen and Richard Kiley
The Old Man Who Cried Wolf (1970) with Edward G. Robinson, Diane Baker, and Martin Balsam
Love Has Many Faces (1965) with Lana Turner, Hugh O'Brian, Cliff Robertson, Virginia Grey, and Stefanie Powers
Milagro a los cobardes (1962)
Look in Any Window (1961) with Alex Nicol, Paul Anka, Jack Cassidy, and Gigi Perreau
Bitter Victory (1958) with Richard Burton and Christopher Lee
5 Steps to Danger (1957) with Sterling Hayden, Werner Klemperer, and Jeanne Cooper
The Sinner (1957) with Akim Tamiroff
Jungle Safari (1956)
Rebel in Town (1956) with John Payne, John Smith, and J. Carrol Naish
Great Day in the Morning (1956) with Virginia Mayo, Robert Stack, Raymond Burr, and Alex Nicol
The Bottom of the Bottle (1956) with Van Johnson, Joseph Cotten, Bruce Bennett, and Jim Davis
Joe MacBeth (1955) with Paul Douglas
The Far Country (1954) with James Stewart, Corinne Calvet, Walter Brennan, and Steve Brodie
Down Three Dark Streets (1954) with Martha Hyer, Broderick Crawford, and Max Showalter
The Shanghai Story (1954) with Edmond O'Brien and Whit Bissell
Tanganyika (1954) with Van Heflin, Jeff Morrow, and Howard Duff
Blowing Wild (1953) with Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck
Invitation (1952) with Van Johnson, Dorothy McGuire, and Ray Collins
Young Man with Ideas (1952) with Glenn Ford, Denise Darcel, Nina Foch, and Mary Wickes
Mara Maru (1952) with Errol Flynn and Raymond Burr
Lightning Strikes Twice (1951) with Richard Todd, Mercedes McCambridge, and Zachary Scott
Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951) with Steve Cochran and Lurene Tuttle
Strangers on a Train (1951) with Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Kasey Rogers, and Patricia Hitchcock
Dallas (1950) with Gary Cooper, Steve Cochran, Leif Erickson, Raymond Massey, and Barbara Payton
Three Secrets (1950) with Patricia Neal, Eleanor Parker, and Leif Erickson
Colt .45 (1950) with Randolph Scott, Zachary Scott, and Lloyd Bridges
Barricade (1950) with Dane Clark and Raymond Massey
Always Leave Them Laughing (1949) with Virginia Mayo, Milton Berle, Jerome Cowan, and Max Showalter
Beyond the Forest (1949) with Bette Davis, Joseph Cotten, and David Brian
The Window (1949) with Barbara Hale and Bobby Driscoll
Champion (1949) with Kirk Douglas and Marilyn Maxwell
Belle Starr's Daughter (1948) with George Montgomery and Rod Cameron
Good Sam (1948) with Gary Cooper and Ann Sheridan
Jungle Queen (1945) with Edward Norris and Eddie Quillan
Harmony Trail (1944) with Ken Maynard, Max Terhune, and Glenn Strange
Stage Door Canteen (1943) with an all-star cast

Knots Landing, 1979-1993 CBS TV series. Roman portrayed Sylvia Lean during the 1986-1987 season
The Long, Hot Summer, 1965-1966 ABC TV series. Roman portrayed Minnie Littlejohn

Murder, She Wrote, episode Town Father, originally aired December 17, 1989
Murder, She Wrote, episode The Sins of Castle Cove, originally aired April 9, 1989
Murder, She Wrote, episode If It's Thursday, It Must Be Beverly, originally aired November 8, 1987
Fantasy Island, episode My Fair Pharaoh/The Power, originally aired May 10, 1980
Police Woman, episode Disco Killer, originally aired January 25, 1977
Harry O, episode Death Certificate, originally aired April 29, 1976
Cannon, episode Flashpoint, originally aired March 13, 1974
Kung Fu, episode A Dream Within a Dream, originally aired January 17, 1974
Hec Ramsey, episode A Hard Road to Vengeance, originally aired November 25, 1973
Faraday and Company, episode Say Hello to a Dead Man, originally aired September 26, 1973
Mod Squad, episode Belinda, End of Little Miss Bubble Gum, originally aired December 7, 1972
The Sixth Sense, episode Once Upon a Chilling, originally aired October 28, 1972
Ironside, episode Gentle Oaks, originally aired November 30, 1971
Gunsmoke, episode Waste: Parts 1 and 2, originally aired September 27 and October 4, 1971
The Virginian, episode The Angus Killer, originally aired February 10, 1971
Mannix, episode The Judas Touch, originally aired January 16, 1971
Marcus Welby, M.D., episode Diagnosis: Fear, originally aired December 30, 1969
Gunsmoke, episode Coreyville, originally aired October 6, 1969
The Outcasts, episode The Town That Wouldn't, originally aired March 31, 1969
Mission: Impossible, episode The Elixir, originally aired November 24, 1968
The Name of the Game, episode Witness, originally aired September 27, 1968
Premiere, episode Crisis, originally aired January 1, 1968
I Spy, episode Let's Kill Karlovassi, originally aired September 11, 1967
Tarzan, episode The Ultimatum, originally aired March 31, 1967
The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., episode The Furnace Flats Affair, originally aired February 21, 1967
The F.B.I., episode The Courier, originally aired January 15, 1967
The Bing Crosby Show, episode Real Estate Venture, originally aired March 15, 1965
Dr. Kildare, episode A Candle in the Window , originally aired November 5, 1964
The Outer Limits, episode Moonstone, originally aired March 9, 1964
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, episode The Candidate, originally aired December 6, 1963
Breaking Point, episode Who Is Mimi, What Is She?, originally aired December 2, 1963
The Eleventh Hour, episode Four Feet in the Morning, originally aired November 27, 1963
Dr. Kildare, episode Four Feet in the Morning, originally aired November 21, 1963
Burke's Law, episode Who Killed Harris Crown?, originally aired October 11, 1963
The Greatest Show on Earth, episode Silent Love, Secret Love, originally aired September 24, 1963
Route 66, episode In the Closing of a Trunk, originally aired March 8, 1963
The Eleventh Hour, episode Advice to the Lovelorn and Shopworn, originally aired January 23, 1963
Sam Benedict, episode Green Room, Grey Morning, originally aired January 19, 1963
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, episode What Really Happened, originally aired January 11, 1963
The Defenders, episode The Voices of Death, originally aired September 15, 1962
Bus Stop, episode Turn Home Again, originally aired January 28, 1962
The Untouchables, episode Man Killer, originally aired December 7, 1961
Naked City, episode The Human Trap, originally aired November 30, 1960
G.E. True Theater, episode The Book of Silence, originally aired March 6, 1960
Bonanza, episode The Magnificent Adah, originally aired November 14, 1959
Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre, episode He Came for the Money, originally aired February 13, 1958
The Ford Television Theatre, episode Panic, originally aired June 14, 1956
Celebrity Playhouse, episode A Letter from the Past, originally aired April 17, 1956
Climax!, episode Spin Into Darkness, originally aired April 5, 1956
G.E. True Theater, episode Into the Night, originally aired May 8, 1955
Producers' Showcase, episode Darkness at Noon, originally aired May 2, 1955
The Ford Television Theatre, episode The Lilac Bush, originally aired March 3, 1955
The Red Skelton Hour, episode Queen of Mars, originally aired February 1, 1955
Lux Video Theatre, episode The Chase, originally aired December 30, 1954
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This page premiered August 8, 2003.