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Daughter of the actor Ismael Sánchez Abellán and actress and writer Ana María Bueno (better known as Ana Rosetti), Gabriel was born in San Fernando, Cadiz, but spent her childhood in Madrid.
At 14 years of age, she moved to the United States, where she took interpretation classes. She later continued her education in Florence, where her mother had moved. Upon returning to Madrid, she continued her artistic development through dance and fencing classes, working as a waiter.
She took the name Ruth Gabriel when she acted in her first film, Días contados by Imanol Uribe. She received the Concha de Oro and the Goya Award for Best New Actress and was nominated for Best Leading Actress.
Her first interpretation job was for the Spanish version of Sesame Street (Barrio Sésamo),
- Días contados (1994), de Imanol Uribe.
- Felicidades Tovarich (1995), de Antonio Eceiz.
- Señales de fuego (1995), de Luís Filipe Rocha.
- A tres bandas (1997), de Enrico Coletti.
- 99.9 (1997), de Agustí Villaronga.
- Doña Bárbara (1998), de Betty Kaplan.
- Sinfín (2002), de Álvaro Olavarría y Alberto Ortiza.
- Besos de gato (2003), de Rafael Alcázar.
- Historia de Estrella (2003), de Manuel Estudillo.
- Lazos rotos (2007), de Miquel García Borda.
- La cometa blanca (1982)
- Barrio Sésamo (1983–1987)
- Querido maestro (1997)
- Nostromo (1997)
- La Mari (2003) (miniseries)
- La casa de Bernarda Alba (2006).