Ruby Wax (born Ruby Wachs; 19 April 1953) is an American comedian who made a career in the United Kingdom as part of the alternative comedy scene in the 1980s. Wax was the daughter of Jewish parents who left Austria in 1939 because of the Nazi threat. Her father became wealthy as a sausage manufacturer and her mother qualified as an accountant. Wax was brought up in Evanston, Illinois in the 1950s and 60s. Wax elected to major in psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Wax came to the UK and studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. She began her acting career as a straight actress at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, where she began a long-standing writing and directing partnership with Alan Rickman, who later was to direct most of her stage comedy shows.
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