Ruth Osborne

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Ruth Osborne
Hollyoaks character
Portrayed by Terri Dwyer
Duration 1995–2001, 2003–2004, 2008
First appearance 23 October 1995
Last appearance 5 August 2008
Introduced by Phil Redmond (1995)
Jo Hallows (2003)
Bryan Kirkwood (2008)
Classification Former; regular
Other names Ruth Benson (married name)
Ruth Osborne (maiden name)
Occupation Journalist
Home London

Ruth Osborne (also Benson) is a fictional character from the British Channel 4 soap opera, Hollyoaks, played by Terri Dwyer. She first appeared in 1995 as part of the Osborne family before leaving in 2001. Since then, she has made guest appearances between 2003–2004 and 2008. In 2009 Dwyer said she'd return to the show. Her storylines included a "controversial lesbian affair" with Jasmine Bates[1] and relationships with Kurt Benson and Tony Hutchinson. Another storyline saw her form a relationship with Lewis Richardson which ended when he beat Ruth up, and feeling guilty commit suicide.

Casting and Creation[edit]

Ruth was created by Phil Redmond in 1995 as part of the original cast. Her family were introduced a year later and are still part of the serial today. Dwyer was cast as Ruth in 1995 after auditioning for the part. On getting the role Dwyer said "they took a big risk on me. I had done nothing in terms of acting, and for two years I never understood why I wasn't sacked. I thought I was appalling." On her audition Dwyer said "here were all these girls from stage school, and I came away thinking I didn't stand a chance. Three auditions later, I got the job."[2] Dwyer first auditioned for the role after driving a friend to an audition for a role at Hollyoaks which she entered herself for fun and later got the job. On her initial time on the show Dwyer has since said "'Looking back at my first scenes, I think 'Oh no, how could they possibly televise this?'. For the first two years I kept expecting to be sacked".[3] In 2001 Dwyer quit Hollyoaks.[4] On her decision to leave Dwyer said "I played Ruth for six years and I think the audience was bored of her and I was bored of playing her."[5] In 2003 The Sun confirmed her return saying "they haven’t sorted out a storyline, but Terri and the producers realise it’s time for her to come back. Terri was a real favourite and she’ll come back with a blast."[4] Ruth returned again in 2008 for her father's funeral. In 2009 of a potential return Dwyer said "If Hollyoaks came to me with a great script I would definitely go back".[6]


Dwyer described the character saying "I like Ruth but she does my head in a bit. She whinges a bit much, is a bit miserable and gets on my nerves".[7] On Ruth Dwyer also said "She engages her mouth before her brain!" [8] The Daily Mirror described her as "chic but sensible Ruth" and "troubled".[9][10] The Sun labelled her a "babe"[11] while the Sunday Mail labelled her "sexy".[2]


Ruth arrives as a student and begins to date heartthrob Kurt Benson (Jeremy Edwards). Ruth’s father Jack (James McKenna), mother Celia (Carol Noakes) and younger brother Darren (Adam Booth) moved into Hollyoaks village where they buy the local pub The Dog in the Pond. Ruth is shocked to discover her father and best friend Dawn Cunningham (Lisa Williamson) had slept together. Ruth’s decided that she didn’t want to see Dawn again, causing hating Dawn's family for the rest of her life, but, she forgives her when she discover that Dawn had leukemia, which leads her to death. Ruth began getting hassle from Spike who tried to entrap her, but Kurt intervened and accidentally pushed Spike off the scaffolding. Kurt is charged causing more problems in their relationship. Kurt becomes paranoid that Ruth thinks he is guilty and he breaks up with her and leaves, going to Hull. Ruth follows him and they marry. Ruth's troubles with Spike continue when she discovers that Spike, amongst other builders will be going to repair the College. Spike traps Ruth in a room and tries to force himself on her, but Rob Hawthorne (Warren DeRosa) steps in to rescue her.

Ruth's marriage with Kurt is on the rocks as they argue, especially about spending Christmas with Ruth’s family. It goes from bad to worse when Rob organises a hill walk in Wales and after Ruth has another argument with Kurt, she ends up going off with Lewis Richardson (Ben Hull). Ruth and Lewis take refuge in a cave where they kiss. Ruth then decides to go off to London for some work placement, leaving Kurt home alone. When Ruth returns, she is devastated to learn that Kurt is having an affair with Kate Patrick (Natasha Symms) and Ruth tells Kurt their marriage is over. Ruth gets into a fight with Kate that ends with Kate trying to drown her. In a fit of rage, Kurt intervened, trying to teach Kate a lesson by drowning her. In a wake of the fight, Ruth and Kurt do some soul searching and realised that they are not right for each other, prompting Kurt to leave Hollyoaks, and more bad news for Ruth, as she discover that Kurt had died from the ski accident. Ruth has a short relationship with flatmate Jasmine Bates but she later throws her out of the flat.

Follow by his separation and death, Ruth begins to rekindle her affair with Lewis, but they both agree to keep their relationship secret. Ruth takes a break from her relationship with Lewis and meets Luke Morgan (Gary Lucy) who seduces her. However, Ruth is embarrassed to discover he is only 16 and on top of that when she confesses to Lewis what has happened he dumps her. Ruth decides that there was nothing left for her at Hollyoaks village and decides to move to the states, but Lewis makes a mad dash to the airport to stop her prompting Ruth to stay. During the first late night special Lucy Benson (Kerrie Taylor) is kidnapped by Rob Hawthorne and taken to a disused watertank, with Ruth, Lewis and Tony in pursuit. The gang survive and rescue Lucy.

Ruth finds out that she is pregnant and without Lewis knowing, has an abortion. Ruth then discovers that Lewis had lied about how big his debt to Lorraine Wilson is, prompting Ruth to hit Lewis before Lewis hits her back in retaliation. Lewis tells Ruth that he had slept with Lorraine to pay off his debt, which leaves Ruth heartbroken. Ruth and Lewis finally break up and Ruth than begins to date John Stuart, her colleague, but it soon ends. In a special 16-part late-night show Hollyoaks: Movin' On, Lewis beats Ruth up before trying to force himself on her, leaving Ruth for dead. Ruth is badly hurt and in hospital is told Lewis has died after taking an overdose of painkillers. Ruth has a brief relationship with friend Tony but later leaves Hollyoaks to start a new life in London.

On 24 December 2003 Ruth returns to Hollyoaks village. She rekindles her relationship with Tony Hutchinson (Nick Pickard) despite his marriage to Mandy Richardson (Sarah Jayne Dunn) and later becomes pregnant. She returns to London where she loses the baby. She later returns to the village and supports Tony when he is accused of beating Mandy. She's later discover that Dawn's brother Max Cunningham (Matt Littler) was the one who hold the key for his sister affair with her father, causing her to not forgive him. In 2005, she didn't attend to her father and her stepmother Frankie wedding. Ruth returns on 5 August 2008 for the 'funeral' of Jack, unaware that the whole thing is an insurance scam. Ruth tells her stepmother Frankie (Helen Pearson) she is engaged. In January 2013, Ruth meets her nephew Oscar for the first time, when Darren (Ashley Taylor Dawson), and his wife Nancy (Jessica Fox) went to visit her in London off-screen. In 2015, Ruth couldn't attend her godson Harry Thompson (Parry Glasspool) 18th birthday party, although she sent him a birthday card.


The Sun described her time on the show saying she has "been cheated on, beaten up, battled depression and had men attempt to rape and murder her" before commenting on Dwyer saying she was "one of Britain's most popular TV actresses" for her part as Ruth.[12] The Liverpool Daily Post called her "one of the nation's best-loved soap babes".[13] The Daily Record listed her among "The soap stars who boosted the ratings with their shocking clinches" for her part in a lesbian storyline.[14] The Daily Record described her saying she "overacts her way through another scene" when she finds vows Kurt is out of her life for good.[15] The Daily Record also commented on Ruth's relationship with Lewis saying "He's just turned from one of the most easy-going blokes around into a woman-beater. Yep, when he finds out Ruth has aborted the baby, he hits her. Not a good move at all. It might be Ruth, but we can't condone this, can we? I'd smash both their heads together, the rotten pair." They described the storyline as a cracker and the attempted rape scenes as "some of the grittiest storylines ever seen in a soap".[16][17] All About Soap magazine placed Kurt and Ruth's wedding at number nineteen on their twenty greatest soap weddings list.[18]

The Daily Record's Merle Brown commented on Ruth saying "while they're at it, why not blow up Ruth, and put her out of her misery. Terri Dwyer, who plays her (after a fashion) is wooden as well, and seeing her painful attempts at emotional scenes is just too much to take."[19] Brown also listed her amongst his least favourite soap characters saying "Lewis, my least favourite soap character of all time (although Ruth is right up there with him), is feeling guilty about his tryst with Lorraine and refuses to sleep with her again. Which opens the gates, methinks for Ruth to find out, and a big barney to ensue. Great. I can hardly wait to see Terri Dwyer overact her way through this one."[20] Upon Dwyer receiving a nomination Brown later added "if Terri Dwyer wins Best Actress I shall really have to complain. How can she even be nominated?".[21] The Sunday Mail commented on her time in the show saying she has had "controversial storylines" including "attempted rape, married young, kicked out by her husband over an affair, then widowed, a lesbian kiss with a 17-year-old, and now an unwanted pregnancy. No wonder the blonde babe gets most of the show's fan letters."[2] The Daily Mirror commented that her Christmas return put the "cracker back into Christmas".[22]

Ruth in Hollyoaks was also known as a rather loud mouthed character, evidence of this is seen in an episode where while she is talking Lucy Benson's hand covers her mouth in order to gag her but Ruth continues to try and talk but just makes muffled sounds under Lucy's hand.

The Daily Record commented negatively on Ruth's relationship with Kurt saying that the pair needed a "mallet on the head" after their marriage breakdown. They added that "Ruth is still doing the angst-ridden facial expression in Hollyoaks this week as she and hubby Kurt are nowhere nearer sorting out their relationship" and later said Kurt "is still pleading for a reconciliation with Ruth".[23][24][25]

Ruth and flatmate Jasmine Bates sleep together after spending the night sharing a bottle of wine. The Daily Record described the storyline saying "Wait until the TV watchdog people see this week's Hollyoaks - lesbian kissing scenes at tea-time. Phil Redmond brought you your first lesbian kiss in Brookside a good few years ago now and there was uproar. Now he's at it again in his teen-soap as a good old heart-to-heart between Jas and Ruth over a bottle of wine leads to something more. The next morning, Ruth is not a happy girl at all, as she regrets her night of passion with her flatmate. Oh dear. Sparks will fly."[26] The Daily Record described the brief relationship saying "In Hollyoaks it's the end of the road as Jas moves out of Ruth's flat after their night of passion. Ruth, it seems, is not one for the ladies."[27]


  1. ^ Wilson, Liz (16 January 2000). "KISS AND MAKE IT UP; We just closed our eyes and thought about our boyfriends say actresses who stunned Hollyoaks with lesbian affair.". Sunday Mail (Scotland). Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Docherty, Gavin (21 May 2000). "More than just a model couple; James and Terri make the tricky transition from fashion to high drama with sensational storylines.". Sunday Mail (Scotland). Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Laws, Roz (8 May 2005). "Absence makes my heart grow fonder.". Sunday Mercury. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Nathan, Sara (23 September 2003). "Soap babe Terri is back". The Sun. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Button, Simon (29 June 2003). "VIDEO STARS: Celebrity pop idols; We asked three celebs - Jade Goody, Avid Merrion and Terri Dwyer - to pick a moment from their favourite music video. Then we got them to recreate it by dressing up as their chosen popster and striking a pose...". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  6. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (12 October 2009). "Terri Dwyer: 'I'd return to Hollyoaks'". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "I need to rest after six years as whining Ruth.". Sunday Mail (Scotland). 9 September 2001. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Terri Dwyer, aka Ruth, joined us for a chat about life, loves and clothes in Hollyoaks". Channel 4. Channel 4. Archived from the original on 11 January 2005. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Soap Fashion No 5: Hollyoaks confidential.". Daily Mirror. 2 December 2000. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "You've Got M@il: Terri Dwyer - I get a lot of fan mail asking me out on dates. I also get a fair few pairs of underpants in the post. It's bizarre; YOUR CHANCE TO E-MAIL THE STARS.". Daily Mirror. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  11. ^ Robins, Derek (21 December 2006). "Hollyoaks babe gets makeover". The Sun. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  12. ^ Rothstein, Simon (7 July 2004). "Hollyoaks Ruth: I love being Terri-ble". The Sun. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "Inside out: Health check.". Liverpool Daily Post. 23 December 2003. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  14. ^ Morgan, Katheleen (26 October 1999). "TURNING THE OTHER CHIC; It's the latest thing for hip female celebs to do ... get lippy with a close friend.". Daily Record (Scotland). Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  15. ^ "Dropping the dead TV programme; Drop the Dead Donkey Channel 4, Wednesday, 9pm.". Daily Record (Scotland). 5 December 1998. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  16. ^ Merle, Brown (3 June 2000). "Soap watch; Susannah does the rounds with Darren". Daily Record. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  18. ^ "The 20 greatest soap weddings...ever!". All About Soap. Attic Futura UK Ltd (1): 44. October 1999. 
  19. ^ Brown, Merle (16 October 1999). "Poor Barry's head is up in the stars.". Daily Record (Scotland). Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  20. ^ Brown, Merle (9 September 2000). "Soap watch; It's all action on Street of shame.". Daily Record (Scotland). Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  21. ^ Brown, Merle (27 May 2000). "It's gone wrong for Jackie and Gianni.". Daily Record (Scotland). Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  22. ^ Stewart, Tony (27 November 2003). "A HAPPY KISSMAS?". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  23. ^ Brown, Merle (16 January 1999). "Bianca has Grant in the palm of her hand; Soap watch.". Daily Record. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  24. ^ Brown, Merle (23 January 1999). "Soap watch; Nikki's flashbacks could nail the rapist.". Daily Record. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  25. ^ "Soap watch; Wos the matter with ya, Grant?". Daily Record. 12 December 1998. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  26. ^ "DRAMA of the week; AN EVIL STREAK, Monday, ITV, 9.00pm; Wife's worry for the mistress.". Daily Record (Scotland). 22 May 1999. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  27. ^ Brown, Merle (29 May 1999). "Grim reaper pays visit to soapland.". Daily Record (Scotland). Retrieved 2 September 2011.