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Ruth Berle; Wife of Famed TV Comedian

April 19, 1989|From Times Wire Services

Ruth Berle, wife of comedian and television legend Milton Berle, died Tuesday night at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a spokesman for the comedian said. She was 67.

Tim Scerba, a publicist for the comedian, said she had suffered from cancer.

Mrs. Berle began work in the public relations field in New York in the 1940s, taking on work for motion picture studios.

She was involved in many philanthropic causes in Los Angeles, including Democratic politics and SHARE, an organization working with mentally handicapped children.

She married Berle in December, 1953.

Mrs. Berle was born Ruth Rosenthal on May 14, 1921, in Portland, Me. A few months later, her family moved to Paterson, N.J.

During World War II, she enlisted in the Women's Army Corps in 1942 and quickly rose through the ranks to first lieutenant. At war's end, she left the WACs as a company commander and captain.

She then moved to New York, where she became one of the first women to break into the then male-dominated field of public relations. A highly respected publicist, she worked for many motion picture studios, including Samuel Goldwyn Productions, United Artists, RKO and Eagle-Lion.

In 1951, she met Berle and the two were married on Dec. 9, 1953.

In addition to her husband, she leaves her mother, Sophie; son, Bill; stepdaughter, Vicki Walton; brother, Stan; sister-in-law, Addie; two step-grandsons, and several nephews.

There will be a private interment. Plans for a memorial service are pending.

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