Ruth Maleczech

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ruth Maleczech
Born Ruth Sophia Reinprecht
(1939-01-08)January 8, 1939
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S
Died September 30, 2013(2013-09-30) (aged 74)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S
Occupation Actress

Ruth Maleczech (January 8, 1939 – September 30, 2013) was an American avant-garde stage actress. [1]She won three Obie Awards for Best Actress in her career, for Hajj (1983), Through The Leaves, (1984) and Lear (1990). The last was widely acclaimed: her King Lear was portrayed as an imperious Southern matriarch.[2]


Born as Ruth Sophia Reinprecht to Yugoslavian immigrant parents, in 1969 she changed her name to Ruth Maleczech (her mother's maiden name was Maletiç). Her first encounter with theater was as a witch in a class play at the age of eight, and performed in Blithe Spirit and The Taming of the Shrew in high school. In San Francisco, Maleczech played Emily in Our Town and worked backstage at the Actors Workshop. She took acting classes with Ronnie Davis, head of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, her first exposure to nontraditional dramatic forms.

Soon she left for New York, and eventually to Europe, where, at the Berliner Ensemble, she came into contact with the avant-garde. She also lived in Turkey, Morocco, Rhodes, and Paris. In Paris, Maleczech worked dubbing the voice of film actress Catherine Deneuve. Maleczech and her husband Lee Breuer helped create the Mabou Mines, an avant-garde theatre company, with David Warrilow, JoAnne Akalaitis and Philip Glass. In 2008, she was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award. In 2009 she won a Fellow Award in Theater Arts from United States Artists.[3]

She also appeared in The Crucible and in Anna, along with other roles in film and television, but her preferred medium was always stage.[4]


Ruth Maleczech died at age 74 from cancer in Brooklyn.[5] She is survived by her husband Lee, their son Lute, their daughter Clove, as well as her brother and her sister.


  1. ^ Review of Ruth Maleczech as Lear,; accessed October 6, 2013.
  2. ^ Review of Ruth Maleczech as Lear,; accessed October 6, 2013.
  3. ^ United States Artists official website
  4. ^ *"Ruth Maleczech, Mabou Mines Co-Artistic Director",, August 30, 2007.
  5. ^ "Ruth Maleczech, Beacon of Stage Avant-Garde, Dies at 74". The New York Times. October 2, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2013. 

External links[edit]