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The presence of Mr. Ruddy at the news conference so enraged Charles Bluhdorn, the combustible chairman of Gulf & Western, Paramount’s parent, that he fired him. But when Mr. Bluhdorn told Francis Ford Coppola, the director, and Robert Evans, the studio’s vice president of production, to find another producer, Mr. Coppola intervened.

“Al Ruddy’s the only guy who can keep this movie going!” he told Mr. Bluhdorn.

“The Godfather” won three Oscars, including Mr. Ruddy’s for best picture; for best actor, for Marlon Brando’s portrayal of Don Vito Corleone; and for best adapted screenplay, by Mr. Coppola and Mr. Puzo. The film has been widely praised as one of the best movies ever made.

It spawned “The Godfather Part II” (1974), which also won the Oscar for best picture, and “The Godfather Part III” (1990), which was widely skewered. Mr. Ruddy had nothing to do with the sequels. Fred Roos (who died on May 18) was a producer of both, as he was of other films by Mr. Coppola, his daughter, Sofia Coppola, and his wife, Eleanor Coppola (who died last month).

Mr. Ruddy was born Albert Stotland on March 28, 1930, in Montreal. His father, Hyman, manufactured uniforms. His mother, Ruth (Rudnikoff) Stotland, was a clothing and luxury fur designer. After his parents divorced when Albert was 6, his mother took him, his sister, Selma, and his brother, Gerald, to New York City and changed their family surname to Ruddy.

After studying at the City College of New York, Albert attended the University of Southern California and graduated with an architecture degree in 1956. He was briefly the architect for a construction company in New Jersey but chose to go back to the West Coast. There he was a programmer for the RAND Corporation, a shoe salesman and the producer of a play, “The Connection” (1959), about drug addiction, and the movie “Wild Seed” (1965), about a teenage runaway searching for her biological father.

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