Virginia Patton Moss Dies: ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ Star Was 97

Washington [US]: Hollywood star Virginia Patton Moss, the last surviving adult cast member of Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” passed away on August 18 in Albany, Georgia at the age of 97.

The death of Moss was verified by Legacy. Karolyn Grimes, who worked with Moss as a young actor in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” paid tribute to her costar on her personal Facebook page. “We have another angel! Virginia Patton Moss. She was 97 years old,” Grimes wrote. “She is now with her beloved Cruse. She will be missed!” According to Variety, in the 1946 film, Moss is given credit under her birth name, Virginia Patton. She portrayed Ruth Dakin Bailey, Harry Bailey’s wife and the sister-in-law of James Stewart’s George Bailey, who was the main character and played by Todd Karns. The classic’s last remaining adult cast member was Moss (a number of the child actors in the film, such as Grimes, are still alive).

Moss began her performing career while a student at the University of Southern California, appearing in plays and supporting roles in films. Over the course of her life, she kept taking part in interviews about her time spent working on “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

“Virginia was the only girl that was contracted directly by Frank Capra,” Moss’ husband, Cruse W. Moss, claimed in 2012. “Everybody else in that film was loaned by another studio. But Ginny was not with the studio and Frank Capra actually signed her for that picture.”

Before quitting acting, Moss appeared in four more movies, including the 1948 Western “Black Eagle,” in which he played the major role. The comedy “The Lucky Stiff,” starring Dorothy Lamour, Brian Donlevy, and Claire Trevor, was her last appearance on screen.

In 1949, the actress wed Cruse W. Moss, adopting his last name. Together, they moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Moss started a business, brought up a family of three, and worked as a docent at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Virginia and Cruse stayed wed until Cruse passed away in 2018.

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