Ruth McDevitt (September 13, 1895 – May 27, 1976) was an American stage, film, radio and television actress.
She was born Ruth Thane Shoecraft in Coldwater, Michigan. After attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she married Patrick McDevitt and decided to devote her time to her marriage. After her husband's death in 1934, she returned to acting. She performed on Broadway, in particular understudying and succeeding Josephine Hull in Arsenic and Old Lace and The Solid Gold Cadillac. She also worked as a radio actor.
McDevitt was a familiar face on television during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. She played "Mom Peepers" in the 1950s sitcom Mr. Peepers. She was a regular with Ann Sheridan, Douglas Fowley, and Gary Vinson in CBS's Pistols 'n' Petticoats, a 1966-67 satire of the Old West. The series attracted a good audience, but was cancelled two months after Sheridan's 1967 death from cancer. She was a series regular on Bright Promise from 1974–75, McDevitt also had a regular role as Emily Cowles on Kolchak: the Night Stalker, starring Darren McGavin.
McDevitt guest starred in such series as Suspense, Cosmopolitan Theatre, Decoy, Westinghouse Studio One, The United States Steel Hour, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Andy Griffith Show, The Debbie Reynolds Show, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Mayberry R.F.D.,I Dream of Jeannie, Here's Lucy, Bewitched, My World and Welcome To It, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Love, American Style,That Girl, Room 222, Nanny and the Professor, Mannix, Gunsmoke, Marcus Welby, M.D., Little House On The Prairie, All in the Family, Phyllis, and The Streets of San Francisco. Her many made-for-television films include The Couple Takes a Wife, One of My Wives is Missing, In Search of America, The Cheerleaders, My Father's House, The Abduction of Saint Anne, Skyway to Death, Man on the Outside, and If I Had a Million.
Her film debut was in 1951's The Guy Who Came Back, followed by memorable roles in The Parent Trap (as camp counselor Miss Inch), Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (as Mrs. MacGruder, the pet store saleslady), Love is a Ball, Boys' Night Out, Dear Heart, The Shakiest Gun in the West, Angel in My Pocket, The Love God?, Change of Habit, The War Between Men and Women, Mame, andMixed Company. Ruth had a co-starring role in the dark horror comedy Homebodies, one of her final films.
McDevitt died, aged 80, in Hollywood, California. She is buried in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.