Classic Movie Legend Tribute: Thelma Ritter


Happy Birthday to Classic Movie Legend, Thelma Ritter, born February 14th, 1902!

Friendship is something most people strive for. Humans are naturally social, pack-like animals. We like to be in groups, we like to play on teams, and in general, we like other people. However, we tend to not like all people. If you’re smart, you try to choose your friends carefully. And for me, Thelma Ritter, or at least the characters she played, have always been the kind of friends I would want.

Thelma Ritter was a character actor, through and through. She made her fame by playing sassy, street-wise, working class supporting roles. She was always the little bird in the leading stars’ ear, their sass-talkin’, moral guide through the narrative of their lives. She offered an ear to listen when needed, and a mouth to speak up when the lead star needed to shut up. Above all what I always admired about the Ritter character type was her loyalty. Whatever crazy schemes, ideas, or notions her lead stars seemed to concoct, she was always right there next to them, usually telling them – first by telling them how crazy they sounded then by joining in on the crazy. She was what is sometimes referred to as a “ride or die,” buddy –a loyal friend who will follow you to the end — the type of friend I’ve always wanted. So, to celebrate this great figure in female friendship let us take a look at some of her most “friendly” roles.


bette davis, all about eve, classic movie actress, joesph l. mankiewiczThelma Ritter as Bette Davis‘s blunt talkin’ maid in All About Eve (1950, Joseph L. Mankiewicz)


James Stewart, rear window, classic movie actor, alfred hitchcockThelma Ritter as James Stewart‘s sassy nurse in Rear Window (1954, Alfred Hitchcock, director)


Thelma Ritter with drinking buddy Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk (1959, Michael Gordon)


Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub

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This entry was posted in Birthday Legends, Character Actors, Legends Tribute, Posts by Minoo Allen and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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