ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WJW) — A Cleveland-born actor most famous for her role in “It’s a Wonderful Life” has died at age 97.
Virginia Patton Moss, who played Ruth Dakin Bailey in the Frank Capra Christmas classic, died Thursday, Aug. 18, of natural causes, a funeral home obituary confirmed. She was the last surviving adult cast member of the film, according to People.
“We have another angel,” Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu, the daughter of Jimmy Stewart’s character, George Bailey, said on Facebook. “She is now with her beloved Cruse. She will be missed.”
Cruse Moss, Patton Moss’ husband of nearly 70 years, passed away in 2018.
Patton Moss, who grew up in Portland, Oregon, moved to Hollywood as a teenager to pursue acting. During her 7-year-long career, she appeared in plays and movies before retiring at the age of 24 to marry Cruse Moss and move to Michigan.
Patton Moss spoke with Michigan news outlet Patch back in 2012, fondly remembering director Capra who she said stayed in touch with her over the years.
“I have a beautiful letter that [Capra] wrote me … he said, ‘I just knew you’d be a wonderful mother with three little bambinos and a wonderful husband,'” Patton Moss said.
She went on to explain why she had no problem giving up her life in Hollywood at the age of 24.
“I couldn’t see me doing that for my life,” she said. “That isn’t what I wanted. I wanted exactly what I am. Ann Arbor, Michigan, a wonderful husband, wonderful children, a good part of the community. I work hard for the community.”
Patton Moss served as the president of the Patton Corporation, a real estate investment company, and a docent at the University of Michigan Museum of Art following her time in Hollywood.
She is survived by two children, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.