I just heard last night that the wonderful Lynn Ruth Miller has passed away. At the grand age of 87 she has left the stage and there’s a new twinkly star in the sky that’ll shine bright every night. Ironically, there was a stand-up recording planned for Radio 4 with the working title of Not Dead Yet; it was to have been recorded in July but was postponed after she had a mild heart attack in June, and then came worse news that she had inoperable oesophageal cancer.
Now this was one feisty lady who just got on with life, never stopped, so I suspect she’d have known something was very wrong but shrugged it off with a “I’m old, things get achy and don’t work so well any more, but ain’t gonna stop me doing what I want!” If she hadn’t been in hospital from the heart attack, would she have stayed still long enough for anyone to have realised she had cancer? I don’t think so.
Lynn Ruth Miller was no ordinary American from Ohio, she took up stand-up comedy at the tender age of 70, having lived a full life she had plenty of material and she used it well, entertaining audiences around the world, especially the UK, where she made a new home. She’d already been playing the Edinburgh Fringe a few years, when I first saw her in 2009 at the Counting House doing a free show called All About Me; that was her afternoon show, classed under Theatre (my Fringe diary entry was “a gentle, odd little show ***1/2”). Lynn Ruth Miller was also performing another free show every night at quarter to midnight, Aging Is Amazing Redux, this one classed under Musicals & Opera, oh, the lady liked to sing – in her own inimitable style, witty, funny parodies, miss a line and you’d miss a laugh. She liked to sing bawdy songs, sometimes directly at younger male audience members, always funny!
John Fleming’s blog So It Goes has many contributions by Lynn Ruth Miller, just prior to writing this I shared his post on the sad news, there’s much more there about this wonderful soul. A search on Facebook will bring up tributes much finer and more eloquent than I could ever be. For me she was the epitome of all things Fringe and an inspiration of living your own life and always seeing the funny.
Lynn Ruth Miller R.I.P. 💛