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The Actress

This article is about the 1953 film. For the 1928 film, see The Actress (1928 film).
The Actress
Theatrical release poster
Directed by George Cukor
Produced by Lawrence Weingarten
Written by Ruth Gordon
Starring Spencer Tracy
Jean Simmons
Teresa Wright
Anthony Perkins
Music by Bronisław Kaper
Cinematography Harold Rosson
Edited by George Boemler
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • September 25, 1953 (1953-09-25)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,424,000[1]
Box office $914,000[1]

The Actress is an 1953 American comedy-drama film based on Ruth Gordon's autobiographical play Years Ago. Gordon herself wrote the screenplay. The film was directed by George Cukor and stars Jean Simmons, Spencer Tracy, Teresa Wright, and Anthony Perkins in his film debut.

The film basically is a series of vignettes involving Ruth, her parents, her best friends, and the college boy romantically pursuing her. Although Gordon did in fact become an accomplished Academy Award-winning actress and a successful writer, the film ends without the audience seeing Gordon achieve her goals.

The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Black-and-White Costume Design. Tracy won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actor in a Drama and was nominated for a BAFTA as Best Foreign Actor. Simmons was named Best Actress by the National Board of Review, and Gordon's screenplay was nominated Best Written American Comedy by the Writers Guild of America, despite being far more dramatic than comedic.[2]


In 1913 Wollaston, Massachusetts, teenage student Ruth Gordon Jones (Jean Simmons) dreams of a theatrical career after becoming mesmerized by a performance of The Pink Lady in a Boston theater. Encouraged to pursue her dream by real-life leading lady Hazel Dawn in response to a fan letter she sent her, Ruth schemes to drop out of school and move to New York City, much to the dismay of her father, Clinton Jones (Spencer Tracy), a former seaman now working at a menial factory job, who urges her to continue her education and become a physical education instructor instead. When Ruth's audition with a leading producer proves disastrous and the girl's enthusiasm is crushed, her father offers to support her during her first few months in New York if she will at least get her high school diploma.



According to MGM records the film made $594,000 in the US and Canada and $320,000 elsewhere, resulting in a loss to the studio of $965,000.[1][3]

It recorded admissions in France of 15,493.[4]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ IMDB Awards
  3. ^ James Curtis, Spencer Tracy: A Biography, Alfred Knopf, 2011 p654
  4. ^ Box office for Anthony Perkins in France at Box Office Story

External links