LOS ANGELES -- Stage and screen actress Norma Connolly died Wed. Nov. 18 of a stroke. Best known for her portrayal of Aunt Ruby on the television soap opera "General Hospital," she worked often in such local theatres as the Ahmanson and the former Huntington Hartford.
The Boston-born performer studied acting at the Leland Powers School of Drama, the Actors Studio and the Cushing Academy.
"I am fortunate to have been in three American classics in the theatre - A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway and Night of the Iguana and The Crucible at Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre," she once said in an interview.
Connolly also appeared on Broadway in such plays as Love of Four Colonels and Make a Million.
Connolly was a board member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. She was also active in the battle against AIDS, serving on the board of Hollywood Helps. She was responsible for recruiting soap opera performers for such fund-raisers as the "Soap Star Spectacular" staged in 1992 at the Santa Monica Airport. Connolly also addressed concerns of actresses over their limited roles in television and film productions, appearing before such organizations as California State Commission on the Status of Women and the city of Los Angeles' Commission on the Status of Women.
Widowed by the death of television writer Howard Rodman, she is survived by their three children, Adam of Los Angeles, Phillip of Las Vegas and Tiahna Skye of San Anselmo, CA., and two grandchildren.
The family has requested that any memorial donations be made to the Actors Fund, 729 Seventh Ave., 10th fl., New York, NY 10019, or to the American Cancer Society, 3255 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 701, L.A., CA. 90010.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent