SAN FRANCISCO — Tomm Ruud, a San Francisco Ballet principal dancer best known for his role as Drosselmeyer in "The Nutcracker," has died at age 50.
Ruud died Monday at his home of AIDS-related illnesses.
After 10 years with William Christensen's Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Ruud joined the San Francisco Ballet in 1975. In the 1986-87 season, he was made a principal character dancer.
Ruud was born in Pasadena and raised in Afton, Wyo. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in dance from the University of Utah.
He also made guest appearances with national and international ballet companies and dance festivals, including the National Ballet of Canada, the Ninth International Ballet Festival in Havana, the Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Oakland Ballet.
In 1983, Ruud danced the balcony scene from "Romeo and Juliet" and the pas de deux from "La Fille Mal Gardee" for a "Magic of Dance" program with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.
Ruud also choreographed several works that are in the San Francisco Ballet's repertoire, including "Mobile," "Metamorphoses," "Trilogy," "Introduction and Allegro," "Richmond Diary" and "Step for Two."
A short subject film, "Balances," released in 1981, is based on his best-known ballet, "Mobile."