Ruta Lee Credited Mother’s Prayer for Landing Role in SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS
By Movieguide® Staff
Note: This story is part of our Faith in Hollywood series. For similar stories, click here.
Veteran Hollywood actor Ruta Lee, known for her role alongside the late Debbie Reynolds in SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, recently published a memoir detailing her experience in the industry.
The THE GUN HAWK star highlighted her relationships and the joy of working with entertainment greats such as Frank Sinatra, Burt Reynolds, Clint Eastwood, Johnny Carson, Alex Trebek, Fred Astaire, and more.
Lee credited the start of her successful career in Hollywood to her mother’s faithful prayers.
Lee recounted how she first earned a part in the classic musical SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS.
“It was my first job in the movies and what an auspicious first job! I got it simply by auditioning for it. I got a call from my agent, who I was very lucky to have because I was very young and very stupid. I didn’t know anything about anything in those days. I went in for the audition,” Lee told Fox News.
“Meanwhile, my mother went to the church across the street, lit candles, got down on her knees and prayed,” Lee added. “And I got the job! And it was quite the job. What a blessing. We shot it in Cinemascope, but not every theater in the world was equipped with Cinemascope back then. But everybody had widescreen. So we would do the take again for the widescreen.”
Lee claims that the authentic relationships that the cast and crew had on the movie have helped to solidify the 1954 movie’s longevity.
“The story is a wonderful one. There’s a gentleness, a sweetness to it. But there’s also this strength. The dancers, especially the guys, were the strongest I’ve ever seen. And we just had a great time laughing on set doing what we loved. And I think that shows. New generations are still discovering the movie and say it’s a great film. I’m proud to be a part of it,” Lee said.
Movieguide® recently reported on how Debbie Reynolds’ faith inspired Lee:
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN star Ruta Lee said she still misses her co-star and “sister” Debbie Reynolds.
Reynolds, also known for 1973’s CHARLOTTE’S WEB, died in 2016 at the age of 84, a day after losing her daughter Carrie Fisher.
“She was like a sister to me,” Lee told Fox News. “I loved her tremendously and I still do.”
“She was my dearest friend,” she continued. “My sister in charity. And adopted sister in life, too. She was what, three, four years older than me? And she was probably the most generous person I’ve ever known. She would do anything to help you. If anybody ever had a problem, she would help as best as she could. Boy, the world lost a great talent when we lost her.”
Lee noted that Reynolds taught her how to give to others first and how a selfless approach is more effective than a self-centered one.
“She was watching me when I first became a Thalian and she was president,” Lee explained. “She taught me right from the beginning, she said, ‘You can go out into the world and you can ask anybody for anything so long as it isn’t for yourself. If you’re asking for somebody else, you’ll get it.’ And that has worked for us. We’ve raised many, many millions of dollars with our devotion to mental health.”