Ruth Roman, 75, who starred opposite Gary Cooper and Errol Flynn and survived the Andrea Doria wreck at sea, died Sept. 9 at her home here. The cause of death was not disclosed.
In 1956, she and her son, Richard Hall -- then 3 -- were returning from Italy aboard the luxury passenger liner Andrea Doria when it was struck by another ship. More than 50 people died and 760 survived after the ship went down.
The Boston-born actress got her start in community plays at age 9. She attended drama school and later moved to Hollywood.
Ms. Roman appeared in some minor films before her big break in Stanley Kramer's 1949 "Champion," which featured Kirk Douglas as an unscrupulous boxer. After the film, Warner Bros. offered her a contract, and she starred in nine films in less than two years opposite Cooper, Flynn and James Stewart.
Ms. Roman also appeared in "Beyond the Forest" with Bette Davis, "Three Secrets" with Patricia Neal and "Mara Maru" with Flynn. Her other films included "The Far Country" with Stewart, "Bitter Victory" with Richard Burton and "Dallas" with Cooper.
In all, Ms. Roman appeared in more than 30 movies, most of them in the 1950s, and a number of television shows in the 1960s and 1970s, including "Naked City," "Knots Landing" and "Murder She Wrote."
She once told a reporter that during her shipwreck experience, she never feared she or her son would die. She said she was dancing on board the Andrea Doria when "we heard a big explosion, like a firecracker."
When it became clear the ship was sinking, passengers began piling into lifeboats. With her son, she climbed down a rope ladder to one of the boats, but it pulled away before they could hop on. Soon they were put on another lifeboat.
CAPTION: RUTH ROMAN