Susan Ruttan

Actor, Casting director, Secretary
An auburn-haired character player, Susan Ruttan perhaps is best remembered for her seven-year stint (1986-93) as the likable but less-than-brilliant good-hearted secretary Roxanne Melman on NBC's "L. A. Law."
Born: 09/16/1948 in Oregon City, Oregon, USA

Filmography

Actor (96)

Battle Creek 2015 (Tv Show)

Actor

Grimm 2015 (Tv Show)

Actor

I Didn't Do It 2015 (Tv Show)

Actor

Donna on Demand 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Grim Sleeper 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Actor

Common Law 2012 (Tv Show)

Actor

Grey's Anatomy 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Castle 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

Hannah Montana 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

HawthoRNe 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

Private Practice 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Ghost Whisperer 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

Half-Life 2007 (Movie)

(Actor)

Boston Legal 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Monk 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Strong Medicine 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

CSI: New York 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

Helter Skelter 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The Division 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

3rd Rock From the Sun 1986 - 1995, 1998 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Chicago Hope 1986 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Gideon's Crossing 1986 - 1995, 1997 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Judging Amy 1986 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

L.A. Law 1986 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

L.A. Law: The E! True Hollywood Story 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

L.A. Law: The Movie 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Love Boat: The Next Wave 1986 - 1995, 1998 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Maybe It's Me 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Popular 1986 - 1993, 2000 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Suddenly Susan 1986 - 1995, 1997 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Touched By an Angel 1986 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Yes, Dear 1986 - 1993, 2001 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Gilmore Girls 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Fighting Fitzgeralds 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Wish You Were Dead 2001 (Movie)

(Actor)

Brutally Normal 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Chicken Soup For the Soul 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Safe Harbor 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Krippendorf's Tribe 1998 (Movie)

Mrs O'Brian (Actor)

Love Kills 1998 (Movie)

Lela (Actor)

Story First: Behind the Unabomber 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Family Values 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

In Search of the Oregon Trail 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Voice

Jack Reed: A Killer Amongst Us 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Sweet Justice 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The Mommies 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Soap Opera Digest Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Presenter

The "L.A. Law" 100th Episode Special 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The Tube Test 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Fire and Rain 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Funny About Love 1990 (Movie)

Claire (Actor)

Malcolm Takes a Shot 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Rich and Famous: 1990 World's Best 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Thanks For Giving 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

55th Annual King Orange Jamboree Parade 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

All-American Sports Nuts 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Chances Are 1989 (Movie)

Woman in the Bookstore (Actor)

Funny 1989 (Movie)

Actress (Actor)

Improv Tonight 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The Valvoline National Driving Test 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Bad Dreams 1988 (Movie)

Miriam (Actor)

Jay Leno's Family Comedy Hour 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1988 Miss Universe Pageant 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

NBC Presents the AFI Comedy Special 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Under the Influence 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Kicks 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Buffalo Bill 1982 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Empire 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

After George 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

The Fighter 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Independence Day 1982 (Movie)

2nd Nurse (Actor)

Bay Coven (TV Show)

Actor

Deadly Matrimony (TV Show)

Actor

Deadly Medicine (TV Show)

Actor

Do You Remember Love (TV Show)

Actor

Drop-Out Father (TV Show)

Actor

Jack Reed: Badge of Honor (TV Show)

Actor

Packin' It In (TV Show)

Actor

Prayers for Bobby (TV Show)

Actor

Scorned and Swindled (TV Show)

Actor

Second Sight: A Love Story (TV Show)

Actor

Sure Hand of God (TV Show)

Actor

Sweet 15 (TV Show)

Actor

Take My Daughters, Please (TV Show)

Actor

Thursday's Child (TV Show)

Actor

Touched By Evil (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

An auburn-haired character player, Susan Ruttan perhaps is best remembered for her seven-year stint (1986-93) as the likable but less-than-brilliant good-hearted secretary Roxanne Melman on NBC's "L. A. Law."

Relationships

Daryl Dunrud

Father
divorced when Ruttan was two

Elsie Dunrud

Grandmother
adopted Ruttan after parents' divorce until her death when Ruttan was 12

Helen Manis

Mother
had two children by previous marriage moved to northern California after divorce

Randy McDonald

Husband
born c. 1947 married in October 1990 met on the "L.A. Law" set in 1986 separated in 1993 divorced

Mel Ruttan

Husband
married when Ruttan was 18 he died in a motorcycle accident three years later former Green Beret five years her senior

Jackson Ruttan

Son
adopted by Ruttan born on May 19, 1993

EDUCATION

attended a Catholic boarding school for five years

University of California at Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz , California
enrolled after first husband's death

graduated from high school in 1966

University of Oregon

Eugene , Oregon

Milestones

2000

Made memorable guest appearance as the uncaring mother of Carmen Ferrara (played by Sara Rue) in "Popular" (The WB)

1998

Supported Ann-Margaret in the Lifetime movie "Life of the Party: The Pamela Harriman Story"

1998

Had featured role in the movie comedy "Krippendorf's Tribe"

1996

Appeared on stage in Canada in "Funny Money"

1992

Cast as Arlene Reed, wife of a Chicago police detective (played by Brian Dennehy) in the NBC miniseries "Deadly Matrimony"

1991

Portrayed the mother of a mentally challenged child in "A Triumph of the Heart: The Ricky Bell Story" (CBS)

1987

Co-starred in the NBC thriller "Bay Coven"

1986

Breakthrough TV role as lumpen secretary Roxanne Melman on the NBC courtroom series, "L.A. Law"; earned four Emmy nominations; role was diminished from weekly to recurring before she was dropped by the show in its eighth season

1985

Had supporting role in the CBS movie "Do You Remember Love"

1985

Cast as a judge in "Murder: By Reason of Insanity" (CBS)

1984

TV series debut as regular, the short-lived CBS comedy "Empire"

1984

Had recurring guest role on "Buffalo Bill"

1983

Acted in the pilots "After George" (CBS) and "Buffalo Bill" (NBC)

1982

TV movie debut, small part in "Drop-Out Father" (CBS)

1982

Feature film debut, a bit role as a nurse in "Independence Day"

1981

Made guest appearances in episodes of the ABC sitcoms "Bosom Buddies" and "Best of the West"

1979

Joined casting department at Universal Studios

1974

Professional acting debut in the Staircase Repertory production of "Hot l Baltimore" in Santa Cruz, California; stayed with the company four years

1969

Managed a bar after her first husband's death (date approximate)

1966

Moved to Santa Rosa, California, to live with mother after high school graduation

Moved from one logging camp to another with her father while growing up

Adopted by her paternal grandmother after parents' divorce until she was 12; was sent to boarding school and spent holidays with father

Reprised role of Arlene Reed in four TV-movie sequels aired on NBC

Acted with the Performing Garage in NYC

Bonus Trivia

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Not to be confused with the Canadian journalist of the same name.

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Ruttan had her own small company for which she designed clothes.

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Ruttan has served as a spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

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