‘The Godfather‘ remains one of the seminal works of Hollywood even after close to five decades. The Paramount+ drama series ‘The Offer’ provides a closer look at everything that happened behind the scenes and what went into making the film. The show is based on Albert S. Ruddy’s recollection of the events from back then. Al is the gravel-voiced New Yorker who ended up producing the film and serves as an executive producer for ‘The Offer.’ So, if you’re curious to find out more, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Al Ruddy?
Al was born in Canada but raised in New York. After attending college and graduating with a degree in chemical engineering, he studied architecture and went into the construction business. After a chance meeting with Jack Warner, the president of Warner Bros, Al landed a job as an executive. Once that short stint ended, he worked for Rand Corporation for a while before going back to the entertainment industry.
Al co-created a sitcom called ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ that was successful, in addition to producing the film ‘Wild Seed.’ But his career really took off when he came on board to produce ‘The Godfather.’ Al later remembered, “I got a call on a Sunday. ‘Do you want to do ‘The Godfather?” I thought they were kidding me, right? I said, ‘Yes, of course, I love that book’—which I had never read.” The film, released in 1972, became a soaring success, netting Al his first Oscar for Best Picture.
But the production was not without its issues, as ‘The Offer’ so deftly chronicles. Apart from disagreements with casting and the film’s length, there were problems with the mob on the East Coast, who didn’t initially want the movie made. At one point, Al even met with Joe Colombo, the mob boss, to assure him that the film didn’t portray Italians in a bad light. Mario Puzo, the author of the book, always wanted Marlon Brando for the role of Don Vito Corleone, something that caused an issue with the production company.
Nevertheless, Mario got his way, and as it would turn out, it was one of Marlon’s best performances. As for Al, he continued to produce films throughout the 1980s, but with not a lot of success. That came with a TV drama in the 1990s. Then, with ‘Million Dollar Baby‘ in 2004, Al seemed to be back to his best, with another Oscar win for Best Picture as a producer. One of his more famous quotes was, “Show me a relaxed producer, and I’ll show you a failure.”
Where is Al Ruddy Now?
In 2021, Al served as the producer for ‘Cry Macho,’ reuniting him with Clint Eastwood, who directed ‘Million Dollar Baby.’ A few years before that, he also acquired the rights for Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged.’ Touted as his passion project, Al was in discussions with the author during the 1970s before the deal fell through. He hoped to make a TV show out of the story, to ideally release it on a streaming platform.
Al, who serves as the executive producer for ‘The Offer,’ was actively involved in the show right from the start. Showrunner Nikki Toscano said that Al was quite supportive. He had done interviews, provided his stories, and gave notes. Miles Teller, who plays Al on the show, said, “I met with Al at his house before I had officially [joined the cast]. I mean, I knew I was going to do the project, but I hadn’t officially signed on.”
Miles added, “Al, the producer that [he] is, he wanted to make sure that he got some face time with me because he knew that he’d be able to convince me to do this thing. We talked for a long time — his stories are legendary.” On the personal front, Al was married to Francoise Glazer, but they later divorced. In 1981, he married Wanda McDaniel, who holds an executive role in Giorgio Armani. They have a son and a daughter together. Today, Al lives in Beverly Hills, California, with Wanda.