Her wild and wacky characters helped make Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In must-see TV from 1968 to 1973 and turned Ruth Buzzi into a comedy legend.
Yet as controversial as it was, “we were so very tame compared to what you see on prime-time TV today,” Ruth told ‘Closer.’ But the rapid-fire sketch show made a huge cultural impact, frequently hitting No. 1 in the ratings and winning seven Emmys (and a Golden Globe for Ruth!), turning the funnylady and costars like Goldie Hawn, Arte Johnson and Lily Tomlin into household names.
Ruth in character as spinster Gladys Ormphby.
Now 78-years-old and happily retired from showbiz, the 5-foot-3 powerhouse hasn’t lost any of the masterful mockery with which she infused her various drunks, prostitutes and crabby old ladies — like dowdy, purse-wielding spinster Gladys Ormphby.
“My singular agendum was to help people enjoy their lives through laughter,” she said. And that’s what Ruth herself is busy doing these days on her Sunset Ranch in north Texas with her husband of more than 36 years, Kent Perkins.
“It was fun being on top of the heap for quite a while,” she admitted, “and I enjoyed my time off… like right now! I love it.”
Ruth with her husband, Kent, in December 2000.
- Your fans haven’t seen you in a while. What have you been up to?
Kent and I switched from being city folk to country folk. Instead of listening to managers and agents, I get to hear cows mooing, roosters crowing and the pitter-patter of little duck feet down by our beautiful lake here at the ranch. By the way, raising ducks isn’t necessarily what it’s quacked up to be.
- What’s your secret to a happy marriage?
Separate houses! No joke, we’ve almost always had his-and-hers houses, but we always stayed together in one or the other. It worked out great, and we seldom felt we had to go anywhere for a vacation, because when we got bored at one house, we flipped over to the other one.
To read the full story on Ruth, pick up the new issue of ‘Closer Weekly,’ on newsstands now!