It was on this day, May 27, 1976, American stage, film, radio and television actress, Ruth Thane (Shoecraft) McDevitt dies.
Born in Coldwater, Michigan, McDevitt, performed on Broadway as an understudy succeeding Josephine Hull in “Arsenic and Old Lace” and “The Solid Gold Cadillac.” She also worked as a radio actor.
McDevitt was a familiar face on television during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. She played “Mom Peepers” in the 1950s sitcom Mister 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.
A series regular on the NBC soap “Bright Promise” from September 1969 to June 1970, McDevitt also had a regular role as Emily Cowles on “Kolchak: the Night Stalker,” starring Darren McGavin.
Her film debut was in “The Guy Who Came Back (1951)”, 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), “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,” and “Mixed Company.”
McDevitt died, aged 80, in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California and is interred in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.