Appeared with a number of stock companies during his early years. He made his stage debut with the Alcazar Theatre Stock Company, where he initially found employment as a super. He also performed with the Oliver Morosco Stock Company and the El Paso Stock Company.
Brother of Director Wesley Ruggles
Following his mother's murder by a home intruder, his father moved his sons to San Francisco where they lived with cousins.
Has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame--one for films and one for TV.
He was awarded 3 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio at 6359 Hollywood Boulevard; for Motion Pictures at 6264 Hollywood Boulevard; and for Television at 1630 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
His mother was shot and killed instantly at her home when she stepped between her husband and an armed bandit.
His parents were Charles Herman (a traveling pharmaceutical salesman) and Maria Theresa (Heinsch) Ruggles, and he was the elder of two sons. Charles began working for the same pharmaceutical company that his father worked in 1904 directly after his high school graduation but did not enjoy it and left not long after.
His second wife, Marion La Barba, whom he married in 1942, was the former wife of featherweight boxing champ Fidel La Barba. The couple were both animal lovers and at one point during their marriage had amassed 94 pets.
His step-father was run down and killed by a streetcar in 1925.
President of the Academy of television Arts and Sciences in 1953.
The Los Angeles native donated his personal memorabilia and awards to the Department of Special Collections at the UCLA Library.
Was honored by Ralph Edwards and his "This Is Your Life" show.
Won Broadway's 1959 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic) for "The Pleasure of His Company"