Charles Ruggles (February 8, 1886 - December 23, 1970) was a comic American actor. In a career spanning six decades, Ruggles appeared in close to 100 feature films. He was also the brother of director, producer, and silent actor Wesley Ruggles (1889 - 1972).
Charlie Ruggles was born in Los Angeles, California in 1886. Despite training to be a doctor, Ruggles soon found himself on the stage, appearing in a stock production of Nathan Hale in 1905. He moved to Broadway to appear in Help Wanted in 1914. His first screen role came in the silent Peer Gynt the following year. Throughout the 1910s and 1920s Ruggles continued to appear in silent movies, though his passion remained the stage, appearing in long-running productions such as The Passing Show of 1918, The Demi-Virgin and Battling Butler. His most famous stage hit was one of his last before a twenty year hiatus, Queen High, produced in 1930.
From 1929, Ruggles appeared in talking pictures. His first was Gentleman of the Press in which he played a comic, alcoholic, newspaper reporter; a role he was to repeat several times over the years. He struck up a comic partnership with the formidable actress Mary Boland with whom he appeared with in half-a-dozen farces in the 1930s, notably Six of a Kind, Ruggles of Red Gap, and People Will Talk. . In other films he often played the "comic relief" character in otherwise straight films. In all, he appeared in about 100 movies.
In 1949, Ruggles halted in his film career to return to the stage and to move into television. He was the headline character in the TV series The Ruggles, where he played a character also called Charlie Ruggles, and The World of Mr. Sweeney. He was a guest star on The Beverly Hillbillies, and had a recurring role as Lowell Redlings Farquahr, father-in-law of Milburn Drysdale (Raymond Bailey).
He returned to the big screen in 1961, playing Charles McKendrick in The Parent Trap and Mackenzie Savage in The Pleasure of His Company.
Ruggles died of cancer at his Hollywood home in 1970 at the age of 84. He was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard.