What happened to Albert Ruddy's first wife Francoise Ruddy? Involvement with Osho explored in the wake of Godfather producer's death

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The late Albert S. Ruddy (Image via Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images for Australians In Film)

The Godfather producer Albert Ruddy died on May 25 at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles at the age of 94. In the wake of the two-time Oscar winner’s passing, who was also a co-creator of Walker, Texas Ranger, and Hogan’s Heroes, interest in his life and work has increased since.

One person who was very much woven into Albert Ruddy’s life and career, especially in his making of the classic The Godfather film was his first wife, Francoise Wizenberg.

She was a Holocaust survivor and lived on a Kibbutz, an Israeli collective settlement, before going to the US and settling down in New York with her mother. Francoise Wizenberg became Mrs. Glazer after getting married to the Jewish business magnate Guilford Glazer, who was 16 years her senior when she was only 19. After nine years of marriage and two children, the two divorced in 1965 and Francoise received a generous divorce settlement.

In 1967, she married Canadian filmmaker Albert Ruddy, who was then a young man working a regular white-collar job.

Paramount Plus’ limited TV series The Offer cast Miles Teller to portray the famed producer. While the show mainly focuses on Albert Ruddy and his struggles in making The Godfather, it also takes a closer look at the women behind the scenes who helped him, which included his first wife played by French actress Nora Arnezeder.

Miles Teller plays Albert Ruddy in The Offer (Image via Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Miles Teller plays Albert Ruddy in The Offer (Image via Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

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Talking about the “influential but perhaps overlooked, person in Hollywood lore,” Arnezeder had this to say about Francoise in a conversation with Metacritic:

“[And] what I loved about Francoise is that she’s a strong woman in that kind of world [the 60s, 70s—very male-oriented culture] and she’s very empowering. She empowered Al Ruddy to be able to do what he did. To me, she’s a force of nature.”

Much later after their divorce in the 70s, Francoise Ruddy changed her name to become a follower of the controversial Indian spiritual leader Bhagwan Rajneesh, better known as Osho. Her life with the cult leader was briefly depicted in the 2018 TV miniseries Wild Wild Country.

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Documentary fans may know Albert Ruddy’s first wife better as Ma Prem Hasya

While Albert Ruddy and Francoise Ruddy had a “good” marriage, the ex-couple also had some issues. Arnezeder had talked about it with Metacritic in April 2022, referencing Francoise’s early life and her mother. She said:

“When she [Francoise] was a kid, no one would tell her the truth to protect her. And when she was separated from her mother, she really suffered from not knowing the truth. Because her mother tried to protect her. So when she has to deal with Al Ruddy, who doesn’t tell her the truth always, she feels abandoned just the way she was abandoned when she was a kid.”

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It reportedly caused a rift between Francoise and Albert Ruddy, which ultimately led to the end of their marriage. While it was never clear at what point Francoise went on a tour of India, whether it was before or after their divorce. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, called Osho, had caught her attention with his teachings there.

While Francoise returned to the US, she continued studying the Indian “philosopher's” teaching and when the latter moved to Oregon, Francoise Ruddy became a full-fledged member of his ashram.

During this period, Francoise changed her name to Ma Prem Hasya, meaning laughter, and she became a devoted member of the controversial Osho. While she didn’t get much screentime in Wild Wild Country, Ma Prem Hasya did appear in three episodes of the miniseries.

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Francoise, who was already Ma Prem Hasya by then, appeared with Osho and his other followers in the 1985 TV special Rajneeshpuram - Paradise Lost?, which gives a closer look at the ongoings of the International Rajneesh movement leaders in Oregon and North Carolina.

Ma Prem Hasya remained close to the infamous spiritual leader until he died in 1990 when she continued living a normal life and eventually died in August 2014. She was buried at a Jewish cemetery under the name “Francoise Hasya Ruddy.”

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