Ruta Lee

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Ruta Lee (2009)

Ruta Lee (born May 30, 1936 in Montreal , Québec ) is a Canadian actress .


Early years and career as an actress

Ruta Mary Kilmonis was born in Montreal to two Lithuanian immigrants . Her father worked as a tailor, her mother was a housewife. In 1948 the family moved to Los Angeles , where they graduated from North Hollywood High School in 1954 . She then began studying acting at Los Angeles City College and the University of California at Los Angeles. She has appeared in various plays, but earned her living as a cashier, usher, and candy seller at Grauman's Chinese Theater .

A little later, she landed a role in the Oscar -nominated film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and was developed by Warner Bros. contracted. She has now appeared in supporting roles in a number of films, such as A Sweet Fratz (1957), Witness for the Prosecution (1957) and The Victorious Three (1962), but above all she was seen in episode roles in TV series by Warner Bros. Here she played alongside stars like Roger Moore , Clint Eastwood , David Janssen and James Garner .

Even in the 1970s, episode roles formed the largest part in Ruta Lee's work, which she was visibly frustrated. Therefore, she accepted an offer to co-host the daily game show High Rollers , which she filled out until 1976.

In the late 1980s, her appearances increased again, so she played a leading role in the television series Coming of Age for the first time, but the series was discontinued after 15 episodes. The following year she starred in the television film Sweet Bird Youth alongside Elizabeth Taylor . That same year, she also took on a speaking role in the cartoon Scooby-Doo and the Ghost School .

In the 1990s she had a recurring role on the television series Roseanne . Since 2000, television films have been her main focus. She played a leading role alongside Mickey Rooney in the 2007 direct-to-DVD production A Christmas Too Many .

Private life

In 1976 she married the Texas restaurant owner Webster B. "Webb" Lowe Jr. Ruta Lee has no children. In 1964 she called the then Soviet head of government Nikita Khrushchev and asked him to pardon her grandmother Ludvise Kamandulis, who had been in the Siberian concentration camp since World War II . Her grandmother was pardoned and lived with Ruta Lee in California from 1966 until her death two years later.

social commitment

Ruta Lee is committed to The Thalians , a charitable organization that advocates for disadvantaged youth and mental health.


In 2006 she got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her television career. The star is in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater , where she used to work.

Filmography (selection)


TV Shows

Web links

Commons : Ruta Lee  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. Ruta Lee Biography , Official Website (English) .
  2. Ruta Lee creative overview, (English) .
  3. Ruta Lee Grandmother's Pardon , (English) .
  4. Ruta Lee at The Thalians , official website of The Thalians (English) .
  5. Ruta Lee gets star on Hollywood Walk , USA Today (English) .