Five things you might not know about Ruby Wax

By Rosemary Collins, 2 October 2017 - 4:34pm

Comedian, actress and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax traces her family history on Wednesday 4 October. Here’s five things you might not know about the star…


Ruby Wax at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, 2016. Credit: Awakening/Getty Images

Ruby Wax was born in the USA and has lived in Britain since the 1970s, frequently appearing on our screens as an actress, comedian and presenter.

She has also retrained as a psychotherapist and campaigns extensively on mental health issues.

Now, she uncovers the tragic story of her parents' escape from the Holocaust on Who Do You Think You Are?

Here's five things you might not know about the star...
 

1. International roots

Ruby was born Ruby Wachs in 1953 in Evanston, Illinois. Her parents were Jewish Austrians who came to America to escape the Nazis. 
 

2. Treading the boards

After coming to the UK to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in the 1970s, Ruby began her career as a straight actress, appearing at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield – where she began a long-standing writing and directing partnership with the late Alan Rickman – and joining the Royal Shakespeare Company.
 

3. Small screen star

Ruby became famous as a comedian in 1987, when she started presenting the Channel 4 chat show Don’t Miss Wax.
 

4. Q&A

In the TV series Ruby Wax Meets…, Ruby interviewed famous figures including Madonna, Imelda Marcos and Pamela Anderson. Her 1997 interview with Sarah, Duchess of York attracted over 14 million viewers and was nominated for a BAFTA.
 

5. Mental health work

Ruby has bravely spoken up about her struggles with depression. She has now gained a master’s degree in mindfulness based cognitive therapy and campaigns on mental health issues. In 2015 she was awarded an OBE for her services to mental health.

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