Born in Naragansett, Rhode Island, Ruth Clifford attended St. Mary’s Seminary, a Catholic girls school there. After her mother’s death, she went to live with her aunt, an actress in California. She began a 62-year-career in film and television in 1915 as a teenager. By the 1920’s she was playing lead roles, but with the advent of sound she was relegated to character roles. She appeared in several films directed by her good friend John Ford, including a bit part as a deranged woman in the 1956 classic The Searchers. She retired from the screen after a bit part (uncredited) in 1968’s Funny Girl. She died in 1998 and is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Los Angeles.