Happy Birthday, Dr. Ruth! Night Flight salutes the good doctor, who turns 90 today!

By on June 4, 2018

Night Flight wishes our friend, the renowned sex therapist and long-time TV personality Dr. Ruth Westheimer — born June 4, 1928, in Karistadt am Main, Germany — a happy ninetieth birthday today!!

To celebrate, we’d love for you to check out Dr. Ruth’s exclusive ’80s vintage interviews with celebrities, rock stars and lots of special guests, plus special excerpts and selections compiled from her cable TV shows which all aired between 1984-1990.

You’ll find them streaming in Dr. Ruth’s very own section, over on Night Flight Plus!

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Dr. Ruth (photo courtesy of the New York Times)

If you’re wondering how she plans on celebrating, there will be a birthday party tonight, June 4th, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan, where she’s a board member.

Four hundred invited guests are expected to be at the festivities, and they’ll all be sharing their reminiscences about Dr. Ruth for the cameras (a new documentary about Dr. Ruth is also in the works, as they say).

Today, the New York Times tells us — in an article titled “Speaking, Not Sexually, With Dr. Ruth at 90″ — that she’s in talks once again to return to television, just like we have (check out our “Night Flight Highlights” episodes that have been airing over on the IFC cable network, including our “Night Flight Presents: Dr. Ruth Good Sex Special” that aired on Valentine’s Day this year).

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The format for Dr. Ruth’s new TV show — which apparently will also feature a younger male co-host — includes going around to college campuses and holding court with the students, but we don’t have too many details about the show yet because contracts haven’t yet been signed.

Dr. Ruth also has plans for publishing a few new books, including Stay or Go: Dr. Ruth’s Rules for Real Relationships (Amazon Books), and an illustrated autobiography, like a graphic novel — both written with Pierre A. Lehu, a friend who has been an adviser since 1981 — so we guess you could stay the petite dynamo, who stands just 4-foot 7-inches tall, is still going strong.

She’s a little ball of energy, in fact.

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We hear from the NY Times that she also plans on taking a cruise soon on the Queen Mary II, stopping off in Canada, and giving lectures to the passengers along the way.

Read more about Dr. Ruth below.
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We’re offering up original uncut air masters of Night Flight programming from the video vaults of the 1980s TV show, as well as provocative new selections from the world of music, documentaries, animation, cult films and more. Sign up today!



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Night Flight’s Stuart Shapiro & Dr. Ruth!

As we’ve said before, we’ve always considered Dr. Ruth like a member of our extended Night Flight family — our sister, perhaps — since five of her cable TV talk shows aired on the Lifetime cable network right around the same time our show was airing over on the USA network.

She’s packed quite a life into her ninety years so far, and if you go back far enough — long before anyone began calling her “Dr. Ruth” — you’ll learn that she was a German-Jewish refugee, or “an orphan of the Holocaust, not a victim,” she says.

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Ruth Westheimer’s first day of school before the war

Dr. Ruth recently told a documentary crew about her early life how her parents had sent her to Switzerland before they were both killed (likely at Auschwitz), and from there she emigrated to Palestine, where she joined a paramilitary group called Haganah.

She became a sniper and still knows how to assemble a rifle, according the the NY Times, who tell us she was also wounded in an explosion.

She told the documentary crew — who followed her to Haifa, where she visited her first boyfriend, who she had known in Switzerland — that she “would never touch a gun again” because of what happened at Columbine.

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She usually refrains from talking politics, though, and we’re fairly sure that most of time — especially when the cameras are pointed at her — she usually talks about sex and, believe us, she knows what turns women on! After all, she’s an expert!

Have a look at some of the interviews we’ve got from her ’80s-era library, including those with Burt Reynolds, Jerry Seinfeld, LL Cool J, Jackie Mason, Gloria Steinem, the members of thrash metal band Anthrax and many, many more!

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Did the fact she talked to Anthrax seem surprising? It shouldn’t!

She’s long been a fan of talking to musicians, and during the ’80s, she spoke with icons like herself, celebrity rockers like Billy Idol (pictured here on this blog post) and Ozzy Osbourne, to name just a few.

She actually became friends with Ozzy, in fact, and interviewed him for a SPIN Magazine piece (“Sex & Drugs & Something Else: Dr. Ruth talks to Ozzy Osbourne”), published in April of 1986, which featured a photo of Dr. Ruth being hoisted up by Ozzy, the good doctor all smiles in Ozzy’s arms.

She had never been to a rock concert until she went to see one of Ozzy’s shows, in fact.

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Dr. Ruth talks with Ozzy Osbourne when she co-hosted “Friday Night Videos” in 1986

As always, we’ll have more to say about and with Dr. Ruth in the hopefully near future — Night Flight & Dr. Ruth are both back on the air again, isn’t it great, it’s the ’80s all over again! — so stay tuned!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Ruth!

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.