All in the Family TV show Wiki
Ruth McDevitt
Ruth McDevitt
Ruth McDevitt appeared as geriatric spinster Josephine "Jo" Nelson in 3 "AITF" episodes.
Personal Information
Born: (1895-09-13)September 13, 1895
Birthplace: Coldwater, Michigan, U.S.
Died: May 27, 1976(1976-05-27) (aged 80)
Deathplace: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active: 1949–1976
Spouse(s): Patrick McDevitt (m. ?–1934)
Character/Series involvement
Series: All in the Family
Episodes appeared in: 3 episodes in Seasons 4-6
Character played: Josephine "Jo" Nelson
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Ruth McDevitt (September 13, 1895 – May 27, 1976) was an American stage, film, radio and television actress.


She was born Ruth Thane Shoecraft in Coldwater, Michigan. After attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she married Patrick McDevitt and decided to devote her time to her marriage. After her husband's death in 1934, she returned to acting. She performed on Broadway, in particular understudying and succeeding Josephine Hull in Arsenic and Old Lace and The Solid Gold Cadillac. She also worked as a radio actor.

Television roles[]

McDevitt was a familiar face on television during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. She played "Mom Peepers" in the 1950s sitcom Mr. Peepers. She was a regular with Ann Sheridan, Douglas Fowley, and Gary Vinson in CBS's Pistols 'n' Petticoats, a 1966-67 satire of the Old West. The series attracted a good audience, but was cancelled two months after Sheridan's 1967 death from cancer. She was a series regular on Bright Promise from 1974–75, McDevitt also had a regular role as Emily Cowles on the ABC-TV series Kolchak: the Night Stalker, which starred Darren McGavin.

Ruth guest starred in such series as Suspense, Cosmopolitan Theatre, Decoy, Westinghouse Studio One, The United States Steel Hour, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Andy Griffith Show, The Debbie Reynolds Show, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Mayberry R.F.D., I Dream of Jeannie, Here's Lucy, Bewitched, My World and Welcome to It, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Love, American Style, That Girl, Room 222, Nanny and the Professor, MannixGunsmoke, Marcus Welby, M.D., Little House on The PrairiePhyllis and The Streets of San Francisco. Her many made-for-television films include The Couple Takes A Wife, One Of My Wives Is Missing, In Search Of America, The Cheerleaders, My Father's House, The Abduction of Saint Anne, Skyway to Death, Man on The Outside, and If I Had a Million.

Film acting roles[]

Her film debut was in 1951's The Guy Who Came Back, followed by memorable roles in The Parent Trap (as camp counselor Miss Inch), Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (as Mrs. MacGruder, the pet store saleslady), Love Is A Ball, Boys Night Out, Dear Heart, The Shakiest Gun In The West, Angel In My Pocket, The Love God?, Change of Habit, The War Between Men and Women, Mame, and Mixed Company. Ruth had a co-starring role in the dark horror comedy Homebodies, one of her final films.


McDevitt died, aged 80, in Hollywood, CA. She is buried in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.


Year Film Role Notes
1951 The Guy Who Came Back Grandma
1953 The Long, Long Trailer Mrs. Vagabond Uncredited
1961 The Parent Trap Miss Inch
1962 Boys Night Out Beulah Partridge
1963 The Birds Mrs. MacGruder, pet store clerk
1964 Dear Heart Miss Tait
1968 The Shakiest Gun in the West Olive with film's star Don Knotts
1969 Angel in My Pocket Nadine with Andy Griffith
The Love God? Miss Keezy with film's star Don Knotts
Change of Habit Lily
1972 The War Between Men and Women Old woman
1974 Mixed Company Miss Bergquist
Homebodies Mrs. Loomis
Mame Cousin Fan
Year Title Role Notes
1949 A Woman to Remember Bessie Thatcher Unknown episodes
1958 Harbourmaster Mrs. Markham 1 episode
Omnibus Ewa 1 episode
1961 Naked City Mrs. Abbie Dobbins 1 episode
1962 The Nurses Miss Dillion 1 episode
Dr. Kildare Adele Fromm, RN 1 episode
1964 Route 66 Mrs. Harris 1 episode
The Doctors Mrs. McMurtrie Unknown episodes
1966–1967 Pistols 'n' Petticoats Grandma Effie Hanks 26 episodes
1967 Bewitched The Queen Ticheba 1 episode
1968 The Andy Griffith Show Mrs. Pendleton 2 episodes
1969 The Debbie Reynolds Show Mrs. Patterson 1 episode
Bright Promise Clara Ryan Unknown episodes
1970 The Courtship of Eddie's Father Miss Bristol 1 episode
That Girl Aunt Belle 1 episode
1971 The New Andy Griffith Show Mrs. Gossage 3 episodes
Nanny and the Professor Mrs. Rumble 1 episode
1973 The New Dick Van Dyke Show Mrs. Ferguson 1 episode
The Girl Most Likely to... Housemistress made for TV movie
1974 Kojak Mrs. Farenkrug 1 episode
McCloud Landlady 1 episode
1973-1975 All In the Family Josephine "Jo" Nelson 3 episodes in Seasons 4-6
1974–1975 Kolchak: The Night Stalker Emily Cowles 12 episodes
1975 Phyllis Miss McDermott 1 episode
1975 Ellery Queen Zelda Van Dyke 1 episode
Medical Center Alice 1 episode

External links[]

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