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My mother, Ruth Warrick, passed away on January 15, 2005 in her Park Avenue apartment at the age of 88. She had lived there for over 30 years surrounded by the mementos, awards and photographic images of a life she lived quite boldly.

She was born on June 29, 1916 in St. Joseph, Missouri to conventional mid-western, hard-working church-going parents. Her school year books reveal the development of a rather conventional but precocious girl who rapidly developed into an attractive and charismatic young woman. She departed her home state at the end of her freshman year at college to serve Missouri as an ambassador of commerce to the big cities of East Coast.

On arriving in New York, she soon caught the eyes of some men of influence in radio. One of them, Erik Ylvisaker Rolf, then a well-known actor-announcer on a national radio network, she soon married. Another young man on the rise who took notice was Orson Welles, the young creative force behind the Mercury Theater. Mother would soon answer Welles' invitation to come to Hollywood to join him in the making of Citizen Kane, now regarded as one of the finest films ever made, just as she and my father were starting a family. During the making of the film, Mother was pregnant with my sister Karen; I was born 16 months later, and we grew up in Hollywood, with film stars for friends and neighbors.

During her long life, my mother became a consummate story teller, story maker, and persistently managed a long and storied career. She succeeded in many roles and story lines in acting, liberal politics, church and community service, public celebrity, and family life.

When she moved back to New York to begin her role in All My Children, her apartment, where she lived the last 33 years of her life, became a time capsule for her family and career, containing distilled evidence of her personal adventures, theatrical successes, hard times, and treasured moments. It is remarkable what she had held onto: pieces of furniture and art that had traveled cross-country several times as she lived the nomadic actor's life between New York and Hollywood; thousands of photos; correspondence dating back 60 years; and scripts from various shows she worked on, the margins crowded with her detailed acting notes.

My sister, brother, and I have of course saved the most personal items for the family and close friends to keep stories of Ruth alive in our hearts, and have donated others to a museum in her hometown. But there was such an abundance of things, we wanted them to be shared among her many, many other friends and fans who came to be intimately attached to her as she talked to them, close up, through 40 movies and 40 years of daytime soaps. For my sister, brother and myself, Ruth Warrick was our mother; but we know very well that her family encompassed millions, and we all share many wonderful memories.

Jon Rolf