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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Rubbing Elbows: My Brushes with Celebrities, chapter 13

Miss Manners
Back in the 1970s, I worked at a law firm then called Kramer, Nessen, Kramer, Davis & Saul. Ruth had been married to a film producer for Joseph E. Levine. He put her in charge of dubbing Levine's foreign films from Embassy Pictures. They included some gladiator howlers and Japanese sci-fi films.

She was very proud of the fact that she worked with Robbie Benson as a child, doing dubbing work. She told everyone she mentored him though I doubt that was ever the case.

Ruth was not a kind woman. She was sharp tongued and a drunk. She would call the office 24/7 and ask the time and if it was a work day. Needless to say, this schtick got tired very fast.

She often came in and in a nasty mood as a result. One morning, she pinned a helpless female co-worker against the kitchenette wall so that she could vomit in the sink. She was sent home that day.

Ruth was a cousin to the etiquette columnist Miss Manners, to whom she bore a strong resemblance.

It was at this point that that I launched my cabaret career as a singer/ comedian. Ruth came to my show but only to disparage me.

"Sweet vanity production," she told me, :But I've worked with professionals..... And you just don't have it."  Ruth was a mean-spirited old drunk.Unaffected by her comments I went on yo perform at a number of popular clubs at the time, included. And for the record, my act was not a vanity production. I auditioned, was paid and never mounted any of my shows myself.

Ruth died, tragically, when she fell down, drunk, at home and hit her head on the coffee table. She bled to death on the floor. Such a tragic end. Very William Holden-esque.

I attended her funeral in Manhattan with co-workers. She was not spoken of kindly by her daughter, a psychologist,  and her son, a lawyer. They were scarred, physically and psychically, when Ruth passed out with a lit cigarette in her bed one night when they were just children. Ruth got out unscathed by bolting out the doorShe only thought of herself, uncaring about the welfare of her kids. Even the rabbi, speaking at her grave, damned her. My friends and I were taken aback as we'd never experienced anything of this sort before.

Ruth fancied herself to resemble Rosalind Russell. No one had the heart to tell her otherwise.

Ruth walked with a cane at the time I knew her. She was crippled when she drunkenly crossed the street in the middle of the block against the light.

And that, my friends, is the story of Ruth. Miserable life, tragic end, not remembered lovingly by friends nor family.In death, I hope she's found some sort of peace at last.


  1. Well one can only found happiness over the rainbow

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