Wesley Ruggles (June 11, 1889 – January 8, 1972) was an American film director.
Life and work
In 1917, he turned his attention to directing, making more than 50 films — including a silent version of Edith Wharton's novel The Age of Innocence (1924) — before he won acclaim with Cimarron in 1931. The adaptation of Edna Ferber's novel Cimarron, about homesteaders settling in the prairies of Oklahoma, was the first Western to win an Oscar as Best Picture.
Ruggles followed this success with the light comedy No Man of Her Own (1932) with Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, the comedy I'm No Angel (1933) with Mae West and Cary Grant, College Humor (1933) with Bing Crosby, and Bolero (1934) with George Raft and Carole Lombard.
He teamed with the Rank Organisation in 1946 to produce and direct London Town with Sid Field and Petula Clark, based on a story he wrote. The film — British cinema's first attempt at a Technicolor musical — is notable as being one of the biggest critical and commercial failures in this country's film history. Ironically, Ruggles had been hired to direct it because as an American, it was thought, he was better equipped to handle a musical — despite the fact that nothing in his past had prepared him to work in the genre. It was his last film. An abridged version was released in the U.S. under the title My Heart Goes Crazy by United Artists in 1953.
Ruggles died January 8, 1972 in Santa Monica, California and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California, near his brother Charles Ruggles. For his contributions to the motion picture industry, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6400 Hollywood Boulevard.