Mercedes Ruehl

  • Birth Place: Queens, New York, United States
  • Profession: Actor
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Fast Facts

  • Is of Irish, German and Cuban ancestry.
  • Put on operas in her backyard when she was a little girl.
  • Once worked as the Sauza Tequila rooster for an event, which required her to wear a rooster costume. Other pre-success jobs included waitress, department-store clerk and milkmaid at an ice-cream shop.
  • Studied acting with the legendary Uta Hagen. 
  • Gave up a baby for adoption during her 20s. Years later she hired a private investigator to locate him; they reconnected and have since formed a good relationship.
  • Her 1985 Broadway debut in I'm Not Rappaport came about by chance: the actress originally chosen to play Clara broke her leg, necessitating a last-minute cast substitution.
  • Reported to the Married to the Mob set on its first day with a bad case of poison ivy.


  • 1995, Tony — Actress (Featured Role--Play): Nominee
  • 1991, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Winner
  • 1992, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1991, Tony — Actress (Play): Winner
  • 2002, Tony — Actress (Play): Nominee


  • Nathan Lewis — Ex-significant Other
  • Vincent Ruehl — Father
  • Christopher — Son
  • David Geiser — Husband
  • Mercedes Ruehl — Mother
  • Jake Xavier Ruehl Geiser — Son
  • Vincent Peter Ruehl — Brother


  • The College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, New York, United States (BA in English, 1969)

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