|Remember when big stars made cameos on I Love Lucy and The Lucy Show? William Holden or John Wayne popped in and Lucy freaked out. The studio audience applauded like mad and I received a Hollywood education. I knew who John Wayne was because his movies aired frequently on local television. I learned who William Holden was later when I saw Sunset Boulevard and Stalag 17 in high school. He was A-list all the way.|
Top drawer talent wasn't always available for Lucy sitcom cameos. Ruta Lee received the same treatment when she appeared. She got fawning Lucy, voracious applause, you know, the complete star turn. Who the heck was Ruta Lee? Game show hostess, Love American Style player? She was the perfect example of someone who was famous for something once, and that something got lost in all the follow-up filler. (Note: Wikipedia lists over 100 TV star and guest star credits.)
I feel the same way about Ruta Lee and religion. Other people thought Ruta Lee was important when I was young, then I learned more about Ruta when I grew up and rejected her status. I appreciate Ruta Lee now more than I used to. Ruta Lee succeeded in a competitive business. She does charity work. She's a peace loving Canadian. There might be Ruta Lee fanatics who invoke her name in crazy causes, but don't blame Ruta.
We need a Ruta Lee holiday. If there's a reason for the season, then I say, put a little Ruta Lee under your tree this year.