NATAS: Your credits in film, TV and stage read like every actresses fantasy career. Among your numerous credits is an impressive list of “daytime” accomplishments, including, 2 1/2 hours live every day with Regis on TEMPO, Co hosting HIGH ROLLERS everyday with Alex Trebek and guesting on just about every game and talk show. In addition, many daytime fans fondly remember your work in Daytime dramas as recently as 2012, in the role of Tillie Inman on “Days Of Our Lives.” Can you share a little bit about that experience?
RL: Years ago, I turned down a principal role on a soap (damned fool that I was) because I thought I was doing too much daytime. I loved the guest appearance on DAYS… I gained a lot of respect for the actors and staff. It’s all very fast! They do more in an hour than movies do in a week!
NATAS: As you know, NATAS covers all things Daytime. This means Sports, Childrens Programing, Game Shows, as well as News and Talk Shows. Obviously, you have made your share of guest appearances for interviews. Is there any particular experience that stands out, that you are willing to share with members of the Academy?
RL: I love game and talk shows because audiences get to know you, as yourself…(not a character you are playing) I always felt honored and privileged to be invited into a viewer’s home to share some fun time on those shows. When I was “on the road ” in a play, somewhere in the US, folks came to see me, considered me a friend, I’d be invited home for Sunday supper. That’s the power of TV…I cherish that intimacy and friendship it provides. When it comes to Children’s’ programming, I have in hand a beautiful little book, A mystery with a leading lady/girl ….a latter day, country, Nancy Drew who solves the crime. Would make a great series! I’m looking for a production co to put it into motion!
NATAS: In yet still another arena of entertainment, you have lent your voice to animated programs such as the Smurfs and Scooby-Doo. Do you have any advise to those who might like to pursue voice over work?
RL: Any actor lucky enough to be offered Voice work must….GRAB IT and kiss the producer’s ass! It is such fun to sit on a stool in front of a mike, make silly noises and get paid for it!! I did a series for Hanna Barbera “The Frankenstones” with Charles Nelson Reilly and directed by Gordon Hunt (Helen’s father). What work!! No I can’t call it that…laughed all the way!!
In most cases I’m cast as a witch or a BAD lady…my deep voice works well there! Would love to do more! You hear me GORDON HUNT??
An early appearance by Ruta Lee on “The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show” -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQfqmSUNDO8
NBC’s High Rollers Promo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uwio7xpceM