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Mercedes Ruehl Biography

Birth Place:
Queens, New York, United States

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


  • 1992Golden Globe-Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: winner
  • 1991Oscar-Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: winner
  • 1990Los Angeles Film Critics Association-Best Actress: winner


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