Ruth Gilbert, whose breathy plea to Milton Berle to "Let's not fight this, Mil-l-ton, it's bigger than both of us," became a favored American phrase during the early days of TV, is dead. The successful stage actress whose early dramatic career was assured by playwright Eugene O'Neill, was 71 when she died of brain cancer in New York City on Tuesday.
A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts who made her Broadway debut in 1932 in "Girls in Uniform," she became best known as Max, the lovesick, scatterbrained secretary on "The Milton Berle Show" during the 1950s.
After her New York run in "Girls in Uniform," O'Neill put her in his 1933 "Ah, Wilderness," which featured George M. Cohan.
Later, she was on stage as the streetwalker in O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh" and as Sadie in John Howard Lawson's "Processional."