• Legendary producer Al Ruddy has passed away
  • He was 94 years old
  • Hollywood mourns a giant

Al is one of nine producers ever to earn two or more Best Picture Oscars, and has the distinction of winning them with the largest interval in between — 32 years. Ruddy, who also co-created the hit CBS sitcom Hogan’s Heroes, passed away after a brief illness at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, leaving behind a legacy that will forever be etched in the annals of film history.

A career like no other

From film to film, Ruddy's golden touch turned stories into cinematic legends. His knack for storytelling and his boldness in production choices earned him two Academy Awards for Best Picture, a feat that cements his place among Hollywood's elite producers.

"Al was truly one of the great Hollywood mavericks," 'The Offer' director Dexter Fletcher said in a statement.

"One of the last Mohicans who created great movies which still influence and inspire to this day. From humble beginnings to the highest of Hollywood accolades. His was an incredible journey. Achieved through the sheer power of his determination, strong will, irrepressible energy and charm and a rarely matched love for the art of film."

Ruddy's career was as diverse as it was successful. After the phenomenal success of 'Hogan’s Heroes', he ventured into films, producing hits like 'The Longest Yard' and action-packed road movies The 'Cannonball Run' and its sequel. His ability to produce films that captivated audiences and critics alike made him a sought-after name in the industry.

It was Ruddy's collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola on 'The Godfather' that truly changed the game. His decision to cast Marlon Brando as "Don Vito Corleone" and to navigate the complex negotiations with the Italian-American Civil Rights League showcased not only his innovative spirit but also his dedication to authenticity and excellence.

Al Pacino, who played "Michael Corleone", remembered Ruddy as a pillar of support and encouragement during the filming of this landmark movie.

Ruddy's influence extended beyond the silver screen. His passion for storytelling and his commitment to bringing challenging projects to life inspired many in the industry.

Clint Eastwood, who directed and starred in 'Million Dollar Baby', was just one of the many talents who benefited from Ruddy's visionary approach to filmmaking.

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As Hollywood says goodbye to one of its most beloved figures, Al Ruddy's legacy of innovation, excellence, and inspiration will live on. His final words, "The game is over, but we won the game," reflect a life well-lived and a career that truly made a difference in the world of entertainment.

Al Ruddy is survived by his wife, Wanda McDaniel, his children, John and Alexandra, and a legacy that will continue to inspire for generations to come.