Who is Ruth Buzzi?
Ruth Buzzi is an American actress, singer, and comedian. Known for her works in films, TV shows, and stage productions, she is most popular for the comedy-variety show ‘Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in.’ She was born in Westerly, Rhode Island, and was raised in Connecticut. She studied at Stonington High School, after which she enrolled at the Pasadena Playhouse, graduating with honors. Her first work on TV was in a few episodes of ‘Linus the Lionhearted’. In 1967, she started appearing as a regular performer in ‘Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in’, which became the most successful work of her career. Buzzi’s first important movie role was in ‘Record City,’ a film which chronicles the exploits of employees at a record store. Over the years, she has appeared in several other movies, such as ‘The North Avenue Irregulars’, ‘Skatetown, U.S.A.’, and ‘My Mom’s a Werewolf’. Throughout her career, she has gained several awards and honors. She was nominated for the Emmy Award five times and has won the Golden Globe Award once for her work in ‘Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in’. In 2008, the Board of Regents of Northwood University named her a ‘Distinguished Woman of Northwood’.
Childhood & Early Life
Ruth Buzzi was born at Westerly Hospital, in Westerly, Rhode Island, US, on July 24, 1936. Her father’s name was Angelo Peter Buzzi; he was a well-known stone sculptor. Her mother’s name was Rena Pauline. She was raised in Wequetequock in Connecticut.
She studied at Stonington High School. She used to be the head cheerleader there. Later, she went to Pasadena Playhouse for the Performing Arts. She studied voice, dance, acting and cosmetology, and eventually graduated with honors.
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Ruth Buzzi began acting before her graduation. At the age of nineteen, during her summer break at college, she travelled with singer Rudy Vallee in a live musical and comedy act.
After her graduation, she performed in a lead role in an off-Broadway musical. Soon, she gained attention on TV for her roles in ‘The Gary Moore Show’ and ‘Linus the Lionhead’.
Her popularity reached new heights after she appeared in ‘Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in’, an American sketch comedy show, which ran from 1968 to 1973. She appeared as a performer in 141 episodes and her performance in the show was much appreciated.
Her first important film role was in ‘Record City’ (1978), which was directed by Dennis Steinmetz. Over the years, she has appeared in several other movies, such as ‘Skatetown, U.S.A.’, ‘The Being’, and ‘My Mom’s a Werewolf’.
Her career thrived as she performed in TV shows like ‘That Girl’, ‘The Lost Saucer’, ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’, ‘The Berenstain Bears’ and ‘Sesame Street’ in the ensuing years.
In the 1990s and 2000s, she played supportive roles in the films ‘The Fight Before Christmas’, ‘The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland’, and ‘Fallen Angels’. Her most recent works are ‘One Month Out’ and ‘Glenn’s Gotta Go!’, both released in 2017.
She has also appeared in several TV movies, such as ‘Kids Incorporated: Rock in the New Year’ and ‘Lucky Ed’s Tabloid News’.
The American sketch comedy show ‘Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In’, can be considered the most important work in Ruth Buzzi’s career. The show earned much popularity and appeared on TV Guide’s ‘50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.’ Buzzi herself received much acclaim for her work in the show. She was nominated for five Emmy Awards and won a Golden Globe Award.
As a voice actress, Buzzi voiced several main as well as minor characters in ‘The Berenstain Bears’, an animated series based on the children’s book series ‘Berenstain Bears’. The show was nominated for an Emmy Award in the ‘Outstanding Performer in Children’s Programming’. The series aired from 1985 to 1987, covering two seasons.
Her works on the big screen include ‘My Mom’s a Werewolf’, which was directed by Michael Fischa. With Buzzi in a supporting role, the film also starred actors Susan Blakely, John Saxon, John Schuck and Diana Barrows. The film was about an average suburban housewife, who shows traits of a werewolf after getting bitten by her dog.
Family & Personal Life
Ruth Buzzi’s first marriage was with Basil Keko from 1965 to 1975. She later got married to Kent Perkins with whom she lives in Stephenville, Texas.
Buzzi also paints as a hobby. She has never offered her works for sale, though she has donated some paintings to charity. She also supports several children’s charities such as ‘Make a Wish Foundation’ and ‘Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’.