What is Ruth Buzzi’s Net Worth?
Ruth Buzzi is an American actress and comedienne who has a net worth of $20 million. Ruth Buzzi is probably best known for appearing on the variety-comedy show “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” from 1968 to 1973. Ruth won a Golden Globe for her work on the show and was nominated for five Emmys. She went on to appear on numerous other shows after that, with notable voice roles on such animated series as “Baggy Pants and the Nitwits,” “The Berenstain Bears,” “Pound Puppies,” and “Cro.” Buzzi has also been in many films, including “Freaky Friday,” “The Villain,” “Up Your Alley,” and “Troublemakers.”
Over a multi-decade career, Ruth has received numerous accolades. Thanks to her outstanding work with black entertainers, Ruth was one of the first white women to receive an NAACP Image Award. She was inducted into the Television and Radio Hall of Fame at the Paley Museum in 2006.
Early Life and Education
Ruth Buzzi was born on July 24, 1936 in Westerly, Rhode Island to Angelo and Rena. Growing up, she was raised in Stonington, Connecticut with her older brother Harold. There, Buzzi went to Stonington High School, where she was the head of the cheerleading squad. She went on to attend the Pasadena Playhouse for the Performing Arts in California.
When she was 19, Buzzi began her show business career traveling with singer Rudy Vallee in a live comedy and musical revue. After this, she moved to New York City, where she was immediately hired to star in an off-Broadway musical revue. Buzzi worked alongside a number of other fledgling young performers who would later become superstars, including Barbra Streisand and Carol Burnett. In other work, Buzzi appeared in several television commercials. She garnered further recognition for her appearance on “The Garry Moore Show” in 1964, and for her performance in the stage musical “Sweet Charity” in 1966.
Thanks to her work on “The Steve Allen Comedy Hour” in 1967, Buzzi landed a spot in the cast of the NBC sketch comedy series “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” which premiered in early 1968. She went on to play a wide variety of characters on the show over the years, including Flicker Farkle, Doris Swizzler, and Busy-Buzzi. Her most famous character, however, was Gladys Ormphby, a spinster who wielded her purse like a weapon to ward away pesky characters, such as Arte Johnson’s Tyrone F. Horneigh. Notably, Buzzi was the only featured player on “Laugh-In” to appear in every episode of the series through 1973. For her work, she earned a Golden Globe Award and five Emmy Award nominations.
After “Laugh-In,” Buzzi appeared on numerous animated television series. Her first big one was “Baggy Pants and the Nitwits,” on which she reprised her “Laugh-In” role of Gladys Ormphby alongside Arte Johnson’s “Laugh-In” character Tyrone F. Horneigh. The show ran on NBC for one season in 1977. Later, in 1983, Buzzi lent her voice to “Alvin and the Chipmunks.” She subsequently voiced Aunt Pruney Paw on “Paw Paws” and Mama Bear on “The Berenstain Bears.” From 1986 to 1987, Buzzi voiced Nose Marie on the Hanna-Barbera series “Pound Puppies,” based on the eponymous Tonka toy line. After that, she lent her voice to the animated television film “Rockin’ with Judy Jetson.”
In the early 90s, Buzzi voiced characters on such animated shows as “Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers,” “Gravedale High,” “Darkwing Duck,” “Lucky Luke,” and “The Pink Panther.” She also lent her voice to the television films “I Yabba-Dabba Do!” and “Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby.” In 1993, Buzzi began voicing characters on “Sesame Street,” and also began voicing Nandy on “Cro.” Her other voice-acting credits include “Savage Dragon,” “Rocket Power,” “The Angry Beavers,” and “Sheep in the Big City.”
Other Television Appearances
Buzzi also guest-starred on a range of live-action series over the years. In the late 60s, she appeared in episodes of “The Monkees,” “That Girl,” “The Carol Burnett Show,” and “That’s Life.” Early the next decade, she made numerous appearances on “The Dean Martin Show.” Buzzi’s other credits in the 70s included “Love, American Style,” “Night Gallery,” “Medical Center,” and “The Lost Saucer,” on which she starred opposite Jim Nabors as one half of a pair of hapless aliens. Subsequently, she appeared in episodes of “CHiPs,” “Alice,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” “Gun Shy,” and “Masquerade,” among other titles. In the 90s, Buzzi’s credits included “Saved by the Bell,” “They Came from Outer Space,” “Major Dad,” “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” and “7th Heaven.” She later appeared in episodes of “Diagnosis: Murder,” “Passions,” and “Come on Over.”
Buzzi appeared in her first major live-action film in 1976, playing a coach in the fantasy comedy “Freaky Friday.” Two years after that, she played Olga in “Record City.” Buzzi concluded the 70s with roles in four films: the Disney productions “The North Avenue Irregulars” and “The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again,” the Western comedy “The Villain,” and the musical comedy “Skatetown, U.S.A.” In the early 80s, she starred in the comedy “Chu Chu and the Philly Flash” and the horror film “The Being.” Buzzi’s subsequent credits were “Surf II,” “Bad Guys,” “Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw,” “Dixie Lanes,” “Up Your Alley,” and “My Mom’s a Werewolf.”
Buzzi made fewer films in the 90s; her credits were “Wishful Thinking,” “Diggin’ Up Business,” “Troublemakers,” and “The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland.” Her career slowed even further in the new millennium, with her few credits including “Nothing but the Truth,” “Fallen Angels,” “Glenn’s Gotta Go!,” and “One Month Out.”
Ruth Buzzi has been an extremely wise investor outside of acting. Ruth and her husband Kent Perkins have invested in a wide range of assets around Texas including a shopping center, a ranch, a farm, oil wells, gas wells, minerals and more. The couple’s car collection alone is reportedly worth several million dollars. Their collection includes a Rolls Royce, Bentley and several antique Jaguars. Their most-valuable car is a Chevy that was once driven by Steve McQueen and has been estimated to be worth $2 million on its own.
In 1978, Buzzi married Kent Perkins. Together, they reside on a 600-acre horse and cattle ranch in Texas. Buzzi and Perkins are also prolific collectors of automobiles, and own a collection focused on postwar vehicles from England.
Significantly involved in charity, Buzzi supports such charitable organizations as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Jude’s Hospital, and the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch. Ruth was honored as one of the “Great Women of Texas” by the Ft. Worth Business Press.