‘The Godfather,’ ‘Million Dollar Baby’ producer, Albert Ruddy, dies

Albert Ruddy speaking on stage

Oscar-winning producer Albert Ruddy has died.

He was 94.

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Deadline reported Ruddy was one of only nine producers to win two or more Oscars for best picture, winning them with the largest break in between.

He won his first for “The Godfather” in 1973 and his second for “Million Dollar Baby” in 2005, 32 years apart. Ruddy shared the second one with Clint Eastwood and Tom Rosenberg, according to IMDb.

Ruddy was remembered by “The Offer” director Dexter Fletcher as “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.”

The producer was portrayed by Miles Teller in “The Offer,” which followed Ruddy’s experiences making “The Godfather.” The series aired on Paramount+

“It was an honor and a privilege to portray Al in The Offer. Al lived a life most could only dream of and all would envy,” Teller said, according to Deadline.

Ruddy had a challenge making “The Godfather,” The Associated Press reported.

Real-life mobsters told the producer he was being watched, and one night there were gunshots fired near his home and his car windows were smashed.

There was a warning left on his dashboard to shut down the movie immediately.

But he met with mobster Joseph Colombo and his henchmen to discuss the movie.

“Joe sits opposite me, one guy’s on the couch, and one guy’s sitting in the window. He puts on his little Ben Franklin glasses, looks at it (the script) for about two minutes. What does this mean ‘fade in?’ he asked,” Ruddy told Vanity Fair in 2009.

They came to an agreement, taking out a single mention of “mafia,” and a donation was made to the Italian American Civil Rights League. Colombo and Ruddy also appeared at a news conference where the mobster gave his approval to the movie, the AP reported.

Ruddy went on to produce other popular films such as “The Longest Yard,” “The Cannonball Run” and “The Cannonball Run II,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Ruddy was born in Montreal in 1930 and moved to the U.S. when he was a child. He was raised in New York City, attending Brooklyn Technical School and eventually the City College of New York before transferring and graduating from the University of Southern California School of Architecture.

He was not working in the industry when he met Bernie Fein but the two started working on a television series, despite neither having writing experience.

That show ended up becoming “Hogan’s Heroes,” changing the setting from an American prison to a German POW camp and rewriting the script in “about two days,” Ruddy said, according to the AP.

Ruddy died May 25 at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center after a brief illness, Deadline reported.

A spokesman told the AP that some of Ruddy’s final words were, “The game is over, but we won the game.”

Ruddy was married to Wanda McDaniel and they had two children together.

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