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Ruth Sophia Maleczech (born January 8, 1939) is an Americanmarker avant-garde stage actress, whose most notable role may have been as King Lear, portrayed as an imperious Southern matriarch (1990). Maleczech met her artistic partner, Lee Breuer, at UCLAmarker in the late 1950s, where she arrived via via Cleveland, Ohiomarker (where she was born to Yugoslavian immigrants) and Phoenix, Arizonamarker (where her steelworker father moved for his health).


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 Franciscomarker, 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 NYC, and later for Europe, where, at the Berliner Ensemble, she came into contact with the avant-garde. She also lived in Turkeymarker, Moroccomarker, Rhodesmarker, and Parismarker. In Paris, Breuer settled down to write and Maleczech worked dubbing the voice of actress Catherine Deneuve. Maleczech and Breuer helped create the Mabou Mines avant-garde theatre company with David Warrilow, JoAnne Akalaitis and Phillip Glass.

In 2008, she was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.

She also appeared in Through the Leaves (1984; 1990), a play in which she portrayed a butcher with an abusive lover, with whom she simulated sexual intercourse on stage.

She has also had roles in film and television, but her preferred medium has always been the stage.

Name change

In 1969 she changed her name from Ruth Reinprecht to Ruth Maleczech (her mother's maiden name was MaletiƧ).


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