Rutanya Alda

Rutanya Alda
Rūta Skrastiņa

(1942-10-13) October 13, 1942 (age 79)
Riga, Latvia
Other names Ruth Alda, Ruth Avots, Rutanya Skrastiņa
Occupation Actress
Years active 1968–present
(m. 1977; died 2006)
Children 1

Rutanya Alda (born Rūta Skrastiņa; October 13, 1942) is a Latvian-American actress. She began her career in the late 1960s, and went on to have supporting parts in The Deer Hunter (1978), Rocky II (1979), and Mommie Dearest (1981). She also appeared in a lead role in the horror films Amityville II: The Possession and Girls Nite Out (both 1982).


Rutanya Alda was born Rutanja Skrastiņa (Rūta Skrastiņa) in Riga, in German-occupied Latvia, the daughter of Vera (née Ozoliņa), a businesswoman, and Jānis Skrastiņš, a poet.[1] Alda, her grandmother, her mother and her brother spent seven years in a displaced persons camp in Allied-occupied Germany after World War II.[2] She then relocated with her family to the United States, briefly living in Chicago before settling in Flagstaff, Arizona.[2]


With a career spanning nearly 50 years in show business and over 100 roles, Alda might be best known for her performances in The Deer Hunter as Steven's wife, Angela, as well as for the cult classic Mommie Dearest, as loyal Crawford housekeeper Carol Ann, and Amityville II: The Possession,[3] having been nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award two years in succession (1982 and 1983) for the latter roles. She has also won a Clio and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Additionally, Alda has appeared in numerous television programs, such as Cold Case and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and as a featured character in the Ron Perlman/Linda Hamilton TV series Beauty and the Beast, as well as commercials and stage work.[citation needed]

In 2009, she appeared in Stolen, playing the elder version of Jessica Chastain's character, and had a supporting role in the horror film Late Phases (2014). Between 2014 and 2016, Alda appeared in the web series Old Dogs & New Tricks.

Personal life

She was married to actor Richard Bright from 1977 until his death in 2006, when he was hit by a bus in New York City.[4] They had one son, Jeremy.



Year Title Role Notes
1968 Greetings Linda (Shoplifter)
1970 Hi, Mom! Member of audience ('Be Black Baby' section)
1970 The People Next Door Nurse
1971 The Panic in Needle Park Admitting Nurse
1973 The Long Goodbye Rutanya Sweet
1973 Scarecrow Woman in Camper
1973 Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid Ruthie Lee
1973 Blume in Love Welfare Client Uncredited
1974 Can Ellen Be Saved? Rachael Television film
1976 Deadly Hero
1976 Next Stop, Greenwich Village Party Guest Uncredited
1976 Swashbuckler Bath Attendant
1978 The Fury Kristen
1978 The Deer Hunter Angela
1979 Rocky II Doctor Cooper
1979 When a Stranger Calls Mrs. Mandrakis
1980 Christmas Evil Theresa Credited as Ratanya Alda
1981 Mommie Dearest Carol Anne
1982 Girls Nite Out Barney / Katie Cavanaugh
1982 Amityville II: The Possession Dolores Montelli
1983 Vigilante Vickie Marino
1984 Racing with the Moon Mrs. Nash
1985 Rappin' Cecilia
1985 The Stuff Psychologist
1987 Black Widow Irene
1987 Hotshot Georgia Kristidis
1988 Apprentice to Murder Elma Kelly
1988 Winnie Mrs. Paretti Television film
1989 Last Exit to Brooklyn Georgette's Mother
1989 Gross Anatomy Mama Slovak
1989 Prancer Aunt Sarah
1990 Rainbow Drive Marge Crawford Television film
1992 Article 99 Ann Travis
1992 Leaving Normal Palmer Hospital Nurse
1993 The Dark Half Miriam Cowley
1993 Children of the Mist Sue Madehearst
1994 The Ref Linda
1994 Safe Passage Beth
1996 Innocent Victims Lorraine Taylor Television film
1996 Double Jeopardy Gabriel Neuland Television film
1997 American Perfekt Gloria
1997 Steel Mrs. Hunt
1998 The Souler Opposite Thea's Mom
2001 My First Mister Woman at Apartment
2001 The Glass House Vice Principal
2003 Love Comes Softly Wanda Marshall Television film
2004 Murder Without Conviction Virginia McAlpin Television film
2005 Mystery Woman: Snapshot Marsha Television film
2005 Detective Judge Beatrice Agannis Television film
2009 Handsome Harry Mrs. Schroeder
2009 Stolen Older Sally Ann
2010 You Don't Know Jack Vendor Television film
2010 Unring the Bell Belle Short film
2011 Return Mrs. Miller
2011 Too Big to Fail Admiral Evans Television film
2014 Late Phases Gloria Baker
2015 Ovum Barbara
2016 Split Melissa

Select television roles



  1. ^ Rutanya Alda Biography
  2. ^ a b "Overcoming Adversity: Actress & Author Rutanya Alda Grew Up In WWII Refugee Camp". HooplaHa. YouTube. March 8, 2016.
  3. ^ Rupe, Shade (October 9, 2015). "Exclusive Interview: Rutanya Alda on AMITYVILLE II, Brian De Palma and the Horrors of MOMMIE DEAREST". Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  4. ^ Grossberg, Josh (February 21, 2006). ""Godfather" Actor Richard Bright Killed". E! News. Retrieved October 20, 2017.

Further reading

  • "The Lady of the House" by Lee Gambin, Fangoria magazine #317, October 2012, pages 56–57, 97. Interview of Rutanya Alda regarding her role in Amityville II: The Possession. Three-page article has four photos of Alda, one recent, with additional images related to the film.
  • David Dye. Child and Youth Actors: Filmography of Their Entire Careers, 1914-1985. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 1988, p. 4.

External links