Al Ruddy Was a Hollywood Legend

Al Ruddy was a Hollywood legend. He was an absolute icon and a visionary who made some of the best movies of all time.

That’s the Al Ruddy everyone knows. I want to talk about the Al Ruddy I know. I met him more than 40 years ago, when he was already an icon and I was just starting my film career.

He became a dear friend and a mentor. He was always there to give me advice and lead me in the right direction. People like Al are why I refuse to be called a self-made man. Where would I be without him? My life wouldn’t be what it is without fantastic people like him who have been there every step of the way.

I was inspired by how he worked his ass off while always being there for his family. Al showed you really can have everything. He loved his family, and they loved him.

He also might have been one of the world’s greatest storytellers. Whether he was talking about being threatened by real mafia heavy hitters while he was making the Godfather or telling a story about his kids, it didn’t matter. When Al talked, everyone listened. Everyone was on the edge of their seat. And by the end, everyone was laughing, because he had the best sense of humor. You should have seen the hilarious toast he gave at my wedding - people couldn’t breathe because they were laughing so hard.

Every time you watch Hogan’s Heroes or the Godfather or Million Dollar Baby or any of the many projects he entertained us with, take a minute to remember Al Ruddy.

I know I will never forget him. I will miss him dearly, but Al will always be with me. I am filled with gratitude that I had the opportunity to get to know such a great man with such a big heart.

My thoughts are with his family.