Exit Ruby Patel

Eighty-six year old veteran stage actress Ruby Patel has passed away in Bombay reported The Indian Express today. With her husband Burjor, Ruby acted in several Gujarati and English comedies beginning the 1960s. The couple joined the Parsi wing of the Indian National Theatre and their repertoire there included serious plays. Ruby and Burjor formed Burjor Patel Productions in the late 1970s. After a stint of over 20 years in Dubai, the duo returned to Bombay in 2009.

In Laughter in the House, a 2011 compilation of Parsi theater down the ages, writer Meher Marfatia called Ruby "one of Parsi theater’s most adored actresses.” "If there is a chance to get back quality theater, it might well lie with the Patels,” wrote Marfatia.

The duo is widely remembered for their performances in Adi Marzban’s Cooperative Players. Reportedly, Marzban had once told the initially soft spoken Ruby, "I will have to tell the audience to move chairs further up than the first row if they want to hear you on stage.” The actress had told Parsiana in February 2017 while rehearsing for a revue that "He (Marzban) taught me how to project my voice.”

When Ruby and Burjor were jointly recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Thespo Theatre Group in 2012, Burjor had said, "I did not know theater had a Lifetime Achievement Award. Theatre goes on forever. It doesn’t end with a lifetime.”

Ruby is survived by Burjor and their children Marzban, Shernaz and Feeroza.

File photo: Burjor (l) and Ruby being felicitated by actor Alyque Padamsee in 2012