Ruby Wax admits she ‘would be dead’ if she hadn’t escaped her ‘violent’ parents after her father ‘beat her up’ during traumatic childhood
Ruby Wax has revealed she ‘would be dead’ if she hadn’t left her violent parents in the US and relocated to the UK.
The comedian, 70, admitted her father Edward and mother Berta Wachs would ‘sling verbal grenades at each other’ during her difficult childhood, after her Jewish family fled Austria for the US in 1938 due to the threat of the Nazi regime.
Speaking on Kate Garraway’s Life Stories, Ruby described her strict childhood as a ‘lock-in’, and explained she would watch out of her window ‘with longing’ as other children played in the park.
Ruby added that was driven to leave her parents and start a new life in the UK, and settled in Glasgow to study drama.
She said: ‘They took the war from Europe and brought it to the kitchen.
Revelation: Ruby Wax has revealed she ‘would be dead’ if she hadn’t left her violent parents in the US and relocated to the UK
Struggles: The comedian, 70, admitted her father Edward and mother Berta Wachs would ‘sling verbal grenades at each other’ during her difficult childhood
‘They slung these verbal grenades at each other and I was in the middle, especially because I was born into the land of the free and the brave and I could have a really great life and they were nipped in the bud at 22, so they wanted to make it hard.
‘They were pretty violent with each other (and me), you’d have the sh** knocked out of you.’
Ruby added: ‘I had ambition and the drive of a Rottweiler to survive. I pushed them (her parents) out of the way and I was very rebellious, I’d creep out of the window when I was 18.
‘I remember I hitch-hiked at a private airport to get to San Francisco and then, of course, I’d go back (home) and they’d beat me up, and I’d go out again.
‘I did everything to spite them and they were getting angrier and angrier.’
She went onto recall on incident when her father ‘beat her up’ in front of her friends, who desperately tried to protect her.
Ruby told Kate that it was her anger that drove her to escape her traumatic upbringing.
She said: ‘If I hadn’t had a whacking great sense of anger I think I would have gone under, but I was addicted to anger for quite a long time, I had to work really hard to get it out of my system.
Stricken: Ruby said that was driven to leave her parents and start a new life in the UK, and settled in Glasgow to study drama
‘For me, it was survival because it saved me, if I wouldn’t of gotten out of there, I would be dead.
‘I have a long line of suicide on my dad’s side so yeah it would have happened. If I stayed there, I wouldn’t have made it. And I got out.’
Ruby married her husband, film director Ed Byrne in 1988, and they had three children, Max, 35, Madeline, 33 and Marina, 30.
The couple’s romance didn’t get off to the smoothest start, as Ed revealed Ruby wanted him sacked when they first met.
She said: ‘I had one more egg left, OK – it was really late in the day and Dawn said ”Well he’s available!” I literally had one egg left and so, uh, he became more and more attractive as time went on.”
Ruby eventually moved to the UK and settled in Glasgow before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1978.
She began working with the BBC in 1991 with her show The Full Wax.
In 1994, Ruby Wax Meets Madonna aired on the BBC which was followed by the series Ruby Wax Meets… between 1996 and 1998 which saw her interview the likes of Donand Trump, OJ. Simpson, and Pamela Anderson.
In 1997 the programme was nominated for a BAFTA Award for an interview with Sarah, Duchess of York, which attracted over 14 million viewers.
From November 2001 to June 2002, Ms Wax presented a TV quiz show on BBC One, The Waiting Game.
During her interview, Ruby also lambasted the BBC for axing her interview show when she reached the age of 50.
She accused the broadcaster of not allowing women of that age to host chat shows after they ended her popular programmes which saw her interrogate A-list stars in 2003.
Hard times: She went onto recall on incident when her father (pictured with her mother) ‘beat her up’ in front of her friends, who desperately tried to protect her
Insight: During her interview on Life Stories, Ruby also reflected on her broadcasting career and battles with depression
Louis Theroux’s series took its place, prompting Ruby to change the direction of her career and raise the issue of mental health after suffering from a severe episode of depression.
She was asked by Kate: ‘So why did the television shows dry up?’
Ruby replied: ‘Because I turned 50 and that’s not allowed,’ to which the host asked: ‘So it was an age thing?’
Ruby said: ‘Of course, and then there was a man who took my job, it’s not Louis Theroux who is a really nice man.
‘And whoever I will not mention names said “we want you to do a game show” but I said I could be a really good interviewer and they said “uh uh” so I left town.’
For years she blamed Theroux but later learned it was not his fault that she was axed but another television executive.
The star then confirmed that she was once again hit with depression before deciding to change her career and later went on to study for a master’s degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy from Oxford University.
Discussing her mental health battle, she said: ‘I did get depression after 12 years of not having it. When you first get it you think ”what is it?” it comes back and the voices are just unebarable, more than the usual I think I look like c**p and suddenly everrything goes quiet and it’s impossible to move.’
‘Whoever you were is gone, that’s what depression is. It’s a blank page, it’s not just being sad.’
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