Home / Entertainment / Ruta Lee recalls working alongside Frank Sinatra, Alex Trebek: ‘I loved every single second of it’

Ruta Lee recalls working alongside Frank Sinatra, Alex Trebek: ‘I loved every single second of it’

Ruta Lee has been conserving busy in Hollywood for over six a long time and she or he wouldn’t have it another method.

The actress were given her large ruin when she used to be forged because the youngest in 1954’s “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” which temporarily ended in a long-lasting profession operating along Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn and Lucille Ball — simply to call a couple of. In this day and age, the 84-year-old fills her agenda most commonly main The Thalians, a charitable group dedicated to psychological well being consciousness.


Maximum not too long ago, Lee attended the particular exhibition titled “Marilyn Monroe: 17 Years within the Making” at Beverly Hills’ Edward Lowell Gallery. Andrew Weiss, reportedly the landlord of one of the most biggest collections of unique, signed pictures of the past due film icon, held a sale on what would had been Monroe’s 93rd birthday.

Lee spoke to Fox Information about getting came upon and the various movie icons she came upon alongside the best way:

Fox Information: How does it really feel to honor Marilyn Monroe?
Ruta Lee: We’re each Geminis. Sadly, I by no means ever used to be ready to mention hi to her, however I’ve all the time worshipped at her shrine.

Fox Information: How had been you came upon in Hollywood?
Lee: Let’s put it this fashion — it used to be no large discovery. However the first task that I were given paid cash for and were given my union card thru used to be when I used to be about 16 or so. It used to be at the “Berns and Allen” display. They had been large stars of their day. I were given to play a few the ones displays. It’s as a result of I used to be operating at a bit theater whilst in highschool. Probably the most affiliate manufacturers at the display concept I had sufficient power in me. So I did the task.


Each and every from time to time it nonetheless displays up on TV. However that used to be my first tv task. Then my first film task used to be “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”… I went to that audition. The manufacturers watched me perform a little ballet – I used to be a dancer in the ones days – they usually mentioned: “Are you able to do one thing a bit folksy?” Smartly, I will be able to do the Lithuanian Polka! That’s my background, which is Polish, German, Russian and Lithuanian rolled into one. Remember the fact that, that folksy dance were given me my task. My mom used to be on her knees praying within the church around the boulevard from the casting division. Clearly, she had her prayers replied.

Fox Information: How used to be it enjoying Tyrone Energy’s secret love in “Witness for the Prosecution”?
Lee: I used to be younger and silly. I assumed, “Oh, this occurs at all times. That is somewhat strange.” After all, there used to be not anything strange about it. The way in which I were given the task used to be unbelievable and dealing with Ty Energy and Marlene Dietrich and above all, Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester — that used to be simply so marvelous. And reasonably overwhelming.

Fox Information: What used to be your preliminary impact of Marlene Dietrich?
Lee: The impact that I first had is the impact that I remained with, which may be very, very cool to younger ladies. And I don’t blame her. She took one take a look at my blonde hair on movie and mentioned, “Nein, overlook it.” I become a brunette in a single day. She all the time used to be a bit bit cool, however I will have to say that I admired her technology. She knew what it took to all the time glance excellent on movie. She knew lighting fixtures — she knew the lighting that had been vital. She knew angles. She knew dressing — she knew all of that higher than any one.

I distinctly be mindful her announcing at the set, “I would like a bit mild from down under shining up towards my cheek to spotlight my cheekbone.” The cinematographer mentioned, “No Marlene, you don’t want it. But even so, we don’t have the ones little bulbs.” She mentioned, “I do.” She opened a trunk that used to be within reach. Within had been a wide variety of lighting fixtures paraphernalia. She wasn’t going to take “No, we don’t have it” from any one.

Ruta Lee and James Garner in 1957's "The Comstock Conspiracy." (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images via Getty Images) 

Ruta Lee and James Garner in 1957’s “The Comstock Conspiracy.” (Picture by way of Walt Disney Tv by the use of Getty Photographs Picture Archives/Walt Disney Tv by the use of Getty Photographs by the use of Getty Photographs) 


Fox Information: How used to be it operating with Frank Sinatra in “Sergeants three”? 
Lee: We laughed the entire rattling time. I simply really feel sorry for our director who had to check out to get everyone to prevent giggling lengthy sufficient to do a take. We had been coping with Frank, who used to be somewhat humorous himself. Dean Martin used to be the funniest human being God put in this earth. Joey Bishop used to be very humorous too. It used to be one hilarious hour after some other. And I beloved each and every unmarried 2d of it.

Fox Information: It’s all the time been mentioned Frank used to be a one-take more or less man. Used to be it true on this movie?
Lee: Sure, it used to be. I imply, he would possibly pass two times, however no longer a lot. However he used to be very, excellent about announcing, “Concentrate, take at all times you want. Test the whole thing two times. 3 times. I can provide you with at all times you want. But if we come into the set, we’ve rehearsed it for you. I don’t wish to listen, ‘Ooh, there used to be a creak within the monitor.’ I don’t wish to listen, ‘Ooh, a mild went out.’ I don’t wish to listen anything else like that. We’ll provide the very best now we have. And I wish to come into the most efficient you might have.”

Frank Sinatra

Fox Information: What is the name of the game in the back of the luck of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”?
Lee: I believe the truth that it used to be made on a low funds in comparison to the films that MGM used to be making then, the large musicals that had been very expensive. They concept this movie used to be a cutesy-pie more or less factor they are going to make. It grew to become out to be the largest money-maker for them. It used to be simply superb. And I believe the truth that it used to be finished with no longer numerous large stars… some had finished numerous dance motion pictures… however everybody used to be nonetheless more or less new to films. So the passion that got here from everyone seemed within the movie.

Fox Information: You seemed in “Humorous Face.” What stunned you probably the most about Audrey Hepburn?
Lee: It’s widely recognized that Audrey used to be as skinny as a rail, which used to be true. I as soon as requested her, “Do you nutrition?” She replied, “I like to devour, however what I do is I order the whole thing that moves my fancy after which I simply take one chew of it. That method, I fulfill my want for the style and wonder. However I don’t devour all of it.” And that’s how she maintained her weight — order all of it, however overlook the remaining.


I assume the opposite factor that enchanted me used to be the truth that Fred Astaire befriended me. He used to be all the time very pricey and really nice to me. He would ship me little notes announcing, “You had been marvelous,” or, “I didn’t maintain [this look] as a lot – possibly take a look at a special lipstick.” And did I save any of the ones? No. Isn’t that terrible?  I by no means concept it used to be of serious significance. However we stayed excellent buddies. His daughter become considered one of my buddies, too. In truth, she would say, “Daddy, do you need to come back over for dinner?” He would reply, “No, I don’t assume so pricey.” She mentioned, “Smartly, Ruta is coming over.” After which he’d pass, “Oh smartly, then possibly I can.” He used to be all the time very, very type to me.

Fox Information: What do you omit probably the most about your buddy Debbie Reynolds?
Lee: I omit the whole thing about her. She used to be my dearest buddy. My sister in charity. And followed sister in lifestyles, too. She used to be what, 3, 4 years older than me? And she or he used to be one of the crucial beneficiant particular person I’ve ever identified. She would do anything else that can assist you. If any one ever had an issue, she would assist as very best as she may just. Boy, the arena misplaced an excellent skill once we misplaced her. And her lifestyles used to be no longer simple. She had the issues with Carrie [Fisher]… and no person knew again then what being bipolar intended. It used to be an excessively tricky run for her and Carrie.

Fox Information: You had been in “Prime Rollers” with Alex Trebek. What’s your favourite reminiscence from that have?
Lee: Smartly, each and every second used to be amusing. However I believe probably the most amusing we had used to be once we had been off the degree. In personal he become a detailed and costly buddy to nowadays. I’m satisfied he’s doing so rather well [with his cancer battle]. He used to be prior to now married to Elaine Trebek and I went to the marriage. Then after they divorced some years later, he gave her away. He walked her down the aisle when she were given married *laughs*. Then in fact, when Alex married Jean — that simply become an enormous spotlight. She’s simply one of the crucial gorgeous, superb creatures on this planet. I simply love Alex’s other halves *laughs*.

Ruta Lee is honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)

Ruta Lee is commemorated with a Megastar at the Hollywood Stroll of Repute at Hollywood Street in Hollywood, California, United States. (Picture by way of Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)

Fox Information: What’s a false impression you’re feeling the general public nonetheless has about Lucille Ball?
Lee: I believe other people nonetheless assume she used to be a loopy redheaded wacko. She used to be in no way in particular person the Lucy that she used to be on tv. She performed some films the place she may have been herself, however the wacko redhead isn’t in any respect who she used to be. She used to be very occupied with her paintings, a little of a taskmaster. She sought after no foolishness at the set. We might snigger privately when the cameras stopped rolling. However whilst you had been going for the snigger on degree, you higher ship. You higher carry the snigger. That used to be Lucy. However boy, she used to be an excellent and dependable buddy. I beloved her very a lot.

American actress Lucille Ball (1911 - 1989) as Lucy Esmeralda MacGillicuddy Ricardo in the popular TV series 'I Love Lucy', circa 1955. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

American actress Lucille Ball (1911 – 1989) as Lucy Esmeralda MacGillicuddy Ricardo in the preferred TV collection ‘I Love Lucy’, circa 1955. (Picture by way of Silver Display Assortment/Hulton Archive/Getty Photographs)


Fox Information: What has saved you going as a performer?
Lee: I’m both blessed or cursed. I’m by no means certain which it’s. I’ve very, very prime power. I hate to observe, I hate practice session, however I really like appearing. There’s one thing superb about it, particularly on degree with a are living target audience, even supposing it’s for tv. The power that you simply get again, that comments, it’s simply so superb. You broaden this pretty courting together with your target audience that makes the arena pass spherical for me.

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