ACTRESS The lone adult actor from the beloved 1946 holiday film It’s A Wonderful Life, Virginia Patton Moss, has passed away at the age of 97.
Karolyn Grimes, a fellow child performer from It’s a Wonderful Life, officially announced Moss’s passing, according to Variety.
Early on Sunday, Grimes published a brief homage to Moss on her Facebook page.
“We’ve got a new angel!” Vanessa Patton Moss. She reportedly has 97 years on her.
She has since joined her beloved Cruse. We will miss her!
In the movie, Moss portrayed Ruth Dakin Bailey, who was married to Todd Karns’ Harry Bailey and the sister-in-law of James Stewart’s George Bailey, the main character.
At the University of Southern California, she started her acting career by landing tiny roles in plays before moving on to larger roles in films.
She continued to talk about her experiences after finishing her role as Ruth in It’s a Wonderful Life, according to Patch.com.
Unlike the other actresses in the film, director Frank Capra, according to Moss’s husband Cruse, directly hired her as an actress.
Virginia was the only woman who had a direct contract with Frank Capra, he said Patch.
“Another studio loaned out every single other actor in that movie. However, Frank Capra really signed Ginny for that picture while she was not at the studio.
It’s a Wonderful Life credits mention her as Virginia Patton because the two married three years after the movie’s 1949 debut, at which point she adopted Cruse’s last name.
Before settling down with Cruse and starting a family in Ann Arbor, Michigan, she would also appear in four additional movies. There, they raised three kids.
IMDb reports that in addition to making an appearance in the 1949 comedy The Lucky Stiff, Moss also starred in the 1948 Western Black Eagle.
Although her acting career may have seemed relatively brief to others, Moss never thought she was destined to perform it for a very long time.
“I couldn’t see me doing that for my life,” she said while speaking about her career to Patch in 2012.
“I wanted exactly what I am. Ann Arbor, Michigan, a wonderful husband, wonderful children, a good part of the community. I work hard for the community.”
In addition to starting her career as a well-known businesswoman after relocating to Ann Arbor in 1949, Moss worked as a docent at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
She and Cruse were wed throughout their entire marriage before he passed away in 2018. She is now survived by her family and is respected in the entertainment world.