At Age 80, Ruth Buzzi Settles Down In Texas
By Nick Thomas
Drab, handbag-wielding TV character Gladys Ormphby never met a celebrity she didn’t feel compelled to smack senseless at the slightest provocation. Short in both statue and patience, the feisty diminutive spinster’s victims — such as Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra — were more likely to be paralyzed by laughter than fear.
Ruth Buzzi, formerly best known from Laugh-In, hasn’t gone anywhere to be honest. She’s still around, still acting, and still loving life it would seem. She obviously hasn’t been quite as prominent as he use to be but let’s give the woman some credit, reading her filmography it would appear that she’s done more than enough to warrant a change of pace in the last couple of decades. She’s been a busy woman for much of her life and is still in the business, so you can’t really say much about her career other than the fact that it’s been quite impressive. Plus she’s in her early 80s now and hasn’t retired yet so there’s another huge mark in her favor. If you love what you do then retiring isn’t so much a release from it as it would be a removal from something that you can’t live without.
Buzzi attended the Pasadena Playhouse for the Performing Arts when she was just 17.
Do you get the idea that she knew what she wanted even back then? She was already determined and ready to go it would seem. She graduated from the school with honors and studied voice, dance, and acting, and even took classes in cosmetology. This is a woman that was thinking about every step she would need to take along the way it seems like, as the mix of interests wasn’t just by happenstance. It couldn’t be, not if she wanted to be an actor and have a fully-loaded stable of skills and talents. It seems that she knew what she was doing all along when she took each class, and eventually it would pay off.
She got her first job at the age of 19.
Ruth was selected to travel with singer Rudy Vallee for a live musical and comedy act during summer break. This allowed her to graduate with a union card with the Actors’ Equity Association. From that point she moved to New York after she graduated and was given a role off-Broadway, the first of many that she would perform on the east coast. She worked with other young and upcoming performers during her time including Barbra Streisand, Dom DeLuise, Carol Burnett, and several others. She was a part of several musical variety shows and even did commercials. She gained national recognition on The Garry Moore Show in 1964 as Shagundala the Silent, a bumbling magician’s assistant to her partner, Dom DeLuise. From that point on she had several other hilarious and memorable roles that continued to catapult her career forward as she rode the fame as much as she could.