Ann Rutherford was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The daughter of a former Metropolitan Opera singer, John Rutherford, and her actress mother, Lillian Mansfield, was destined for show business.
Ann Rutherford was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The daughter of a former Metropolitan Opera singer, John Rutherford, and her actress mother, Lillian Mansfield, was destined for show business. Not long after her birth, her family moved to California, where she made her stage debut in 1925. Ann appeared in many plays and on radio for the next nine years before making her first screen appearance in Waterfront Lady (1935). Anns talent was readily apparent, and she was signed to three films in 1935: Waterfront Lady (1935), Melody Trail (1935), and The Fighting Marines (1935). By now, she was a leading lady in the fabled Westerns with two legends, John Wayne and Gene Autry. By the time Ann was 17, she inked a deal with MGM, where she would gain the status of superstar for her portrayal of Polly Benedict in the popular Andy Hardy series with Mickey Rooney. Anns first role as Polly was in 1938, in Youre Only Young Once (1937). Three more Hardy films were produced that same year: Out West with the Hardys (1938), Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), and Judge Hardys Children (1938). Ann found time to play in other productions, too. One that is still loved today is the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol (1938), in which she played the sweet role of the Spirit of Christmas Past. In 1939, Ann played the role of Annie Hawks in Of Human Hearts (1938) in addition to three more Andy Hardy films.