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Publicity photo of Ruggles from his guest appearance on Dick Powell Theatre (1963)
Charles Sherman Ruggles (February 8, 1886 - December 23, 1970) was a comic American character actor. In a career spanning six decades, Ruggles appeared in close to 100 feature films, often in mild-mannered and comic roles. He was also the elder brother of director, producer, and silent film actor Wesley Ruggles (1889-1972).
He moved to Broadway to appear in Help Wanted in 1914. His first screen role came in the silent Peer Gynt the following year. Throughout the 1910s and 1920s, Ruggles continued to appear in silent movies, though his passion remained the stage, appearing in long-running productions such as The Passing Show of 1918, The Demi-Virgin and Battling Butler. His most famous stage hit was Queen High, one of his last before a 20-year hiatus, produced in 1926.
In 1944, he had a summer radio series, "The Charlie Ruggles Show" on CBS.
In 1949, Ruggles halted his film career to return to the stage and to move into television. He was the headline character in the TV series The Ruggles (1949-52), a family comedy in which he played a character also called Charlie Ruggles, and was again the headline character in the daily sitcom The World of Mr. Sweeney, which ran for 345 episodes in 1954-55.
Ruggles made guest appearances in episodes of various television series through the 1950s and 1960s, such as a time-traveling librarian in "Man from 1997," a 1956 science fiction episode of the television series Conflict, and a 1961 appearance as a wealthy neighbor who offers to finance a European trip for Hassie McCoy on The Real McCoys, in the season 5 episode "Hassie's European Tour". Ruggles had a recurring guest role on The Beverly Hillbillies in the mid-1960s as Lowell Redlings Farquhar, father-in-law of Milburn Drysdale (Raymond Bailey). Ruggles also played Aunt Clara's (Marion Lorne) old flame, the warlock Hedley Partridge, as well as a Mr. Caldwell, whose company marketed soup, in the television series Bewitched. He played Congressman John Canfield on an episode of The Andy Griffith Show called "Aunt Bee, The Swinger", and appeared as a driving instructor on The Munsters. Ruggles also lent his voice to the Aesop and Son features in Jay Ward's The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.
His marriage to Adele Rowland (1914-1916) ended in divorce after two years. He then married Marion LaBarba in 1942; the couple remained wed until his death in 1970. Marion died in 1978.
Charlie Ruggles has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for his contributions to motion pictures on 6200 Hollywood Boulevard, one for his radio work on 6300 Hollywood Boulevard, and one for television is on 1600 Vine Street.