Ruth Ann Buzzi is an American singer, comedian and actress, who is mostly known for her acting career, specifically her role in the comedy show “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”. Buzzi has several hobbies, two of which are painting and automobile collecting. She has never sold her paintings for the public, instead, she donates original paintings to charity.
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Early life, family, educational background
Ruth Ann Buzzi was born on 24 July 1936, in Westerly, Rhode Island USA. She is the daughter of Rena Pauline and Angelo Peter Buzzi who is nationally acknowledged for being a stone sculptor.
Her father also owned Buzzi Memorials at Wequetequock Cove, subsequently managed by her older brother named Harold ‘til he retired in 2013. Buzzi grew up in the village of Wequetequock, Stonington, Connecticut where she attended Stonington High School, and was head cheerleader. Starting from the age of 17, she applied for the Performing Arts in Pasadena Playhouse, from where she graduated with honors. Her studies included acting, voice, dance and some courses in Cosmetology.
Ruth Buzzi began her acting career before graduating college, travelling with singer Rudy Vallee in a live musical and comedy act when she was on her summer break from college; this opportunity was the key to graduating with an Actors’ Equity Association union card. After graduation, she landed a lead role in an off-Broadway musical revue which allowed her to perform around the East Coast. At that same time, other performers like Joan Rivers, Bernadette Peters and Barbra Streisand were also beginning their careers with her.
She appeared in several television commercials, some of which won nationally recognized awards such as the Clio Award for Best Spokesman for Clorox 2. In the Post Sugar Crisp commercials, she was nominated for her character as Granny Goodwitch. In addition, she voiced over 300 animation shows including Nose Marie on Pound Puppies, Mama Bear on the Berenstain Bears, and the voice of Granny Smurf.
She soon gained her first national recognition when she performed as “Shakundala the Silent” in “The Garry Moore Show” in 1964, as well as appearing in the original cast of “Sweet Charity”.
Her popularity grew tremendously after she appeared in “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”, which was an American TV comedy sketch show from 1968 to 1973. Buzzi was the only featured player to appear in every single episode of the show, even the original pilot. The character she was most well-known for in the show was Dowdy Spinster Ormph, for which she was dressed in dull brown with a bun hairstyle, with her face covered in a hairnet knotted in the center of her forehead. This wasn’t the first time she had used this look, in fact she appeared in a school production called “Auntie Mame” in which she played Agnes Gooch.
With her vivid comedic dialogue, she was seen in a number of Dean Martin Roasts from the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas, where she blabbered about prominent roastees such as Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and Muhammad Ali.
Aside from her acting career, Ruth was known to be a very wise investor. Both her and her husband Kent Perkins have invested in various assets that are currently worth a lot of money, located around Texas including a ranch, a farm, gas wells, oil wells, a shopping center, minerals and more. The vehicle collection they own was valued at a few million dollars, with the most luxurious car they own a Chevy which Steve McQueen was behind its wheel once, estimated to be worth $2 million dollars.
Buzzi is currently retired to a 629-acre ranch in Erath County in Texas, where she lived with her husband, Kent Perkins. However, she hasn’t completely forgotten her days in Southlake as she still visits from time to time, and writing on Twitter describing her days in Southlake saying, ‘Things I loved about Southlake: the best neighbors in the world. The greatest access to the best shopping in the state of Texas, maybe in the country. The biggest choice of restaurants within a 10-mile radius. Wonderful landscaping and beautiful garden work everywhere you look. Lots of groundwater, with ducks, turtles and blue herons. Almost zero crime.’
Ruth Ann Buzzi has participated in a lot of charity work, some of which are for children including The Thalians, St. Jude’s Hospital, the Special Olympics, Make a Wish Foundation, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Buzzi is a sponsor in a children’s art summer camp as well. Buzzi also helps in fundraising for the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, located in Medina, Texas.
Buzzi’s name has appeared in several songs, such as “Ruth Buzzi Better Watch Her Back” by The Bled, the duet “You’re the Reason Our Kids are Ugly” by Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn, and “I’m A Swing It” by House of Pain.
Buzzi and her husband share the hobby of collecting automobiles, particularly post-war English vehicles which include Jaguars, Bentleys, and Rolls-Royces, appearing in television commercials, and in her blue Bentley convertible featured on the cover of Vogue with Jessica Simpson driving it. As mentioned, Buzzi has participated in a lot of charity work, so some of the cars were exhibited at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California by loans or/and donation.
I’ve never refused taking a photo with fans. pic.twitter.com/p3mfHtPNaq
— RUTH BUZZI (@Ruth_A_Buzzi) January 25, 2021
Who is Buzzi’s Husband Ken Perkins?
Kenneth Perkins born in 1926, and was Major General British Army officer who was later seconded to command the Sultan of Oman’s armed forces. Ending his military vocation, he held the post of Director of Military Assistance Overseas for two years, from 1980 to 1982. He died in 2009.
According to sources, as of early 2021, the best estimate of Ruth Buzzi’s net worth is $20 million.