Ruthgabriel

Ruth Gabriel in a recent photography

Ruth Gabriel is a Spanish actress who played Ruth in the Spanish Sesame Street co-production Barrio Sésamo.

Ruth Sánchez Bueno was born on July 10th, 1975 in San Fernando, Cádiz (Spain).

When she was five, she visited Prado del Rey alongside with her class, she sat next to a complete unknown and uttered a sentence from Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop: "My mouth was dry enough to spit cotton". She automatically began her career as an actress with 1981 TV series La Cometa Blanca, along with Mari Luz Olier and Alfonso Vallejo. During this years, Ruth's stage name was Ruth Abellán. Her character shared her first name.

Lolo Rico, director of La Cometa Blanca, inserted sketches from Sesame Street in the series, which would provide the young audiences with a reference.

In 1983, Sesame Street had its second chance in Televisión Española. Ruth Abellán reprised her role from La Cometa Blanca during all the time of the series, 1983 till 1987. Then, suddenly, Ruth Sánchez Bueno simply disappeared from the public eye.

She reappeared seven years later, now as a beautiful 19-year-old actress. She was at a night club and dressed as one of the characters in Neil Jordan's The Crying Game (1992), because she wanted to play a joke with a friend of hers, making him think that she was a transvestite. Coincidentially, Spanish celebrities Montxo Armendáriz, Javier Gurruchaga and Imanol Uribe were having drinks at that same pub. Uribe noticed Ruth's ass in her very tight clothes and decided that it was one of the physical features he needed for Charo, the main female character in his next movie, Días Contados (1994) (Internationally known as Numbered Days, Running Out of Time or With the Days Numbered in Hong Kong).

Uribe, co-writer, co-producer and director of the movie, rechristened her Ruth Gabriel and immediately casted her as Charo, a heroine-addicted teenage prostitute living in Madrid. She mets and begins a relationship with an ETA member (Carmelo Gómez) who has came to Madrid to commit terrorist action. It was a thriller about hopelessness and heterogeneous relationships, showing characters without a future, and it was an immediate success. It was a risky move because the role required full nudity, but her performance managed to overcame the more apparent activities - although, even now, some people remember her because of the "bathroom scene".

Ruth Gabriel won the Newcomer Award of the Spanish Actors Union, defeating Elvira Mínguez and Candela Peña (for the same movie), and also won the Ondas Award, tied with both of her partners for the movie.

She was nominated to both Best New Actress and Lead Actress Award of the IX edition of the Goyas, the most prestigious film awards in Spain. Again, she won Best New Actress defeating Mínguez and Peña, and took the price from hands of Sergio Cabrera and Cristina Marcos. However, she lost lead actress to Cristina Marcos herself, nominated for Todos los hombres sois iguales (1994).

Suddenly a star, Ruth Gabriel had more than a few offers. During 1995 she worked in Sinais of fogo, a coproduction of Spain, Portugal and France, and also under Antonio Eceiva in Felicidades Tovarich, which allowed her to meet and work with prestigious Spanish actor Francisco Rabal.

Not one to reject TV series if they are interesting, she worked from 1996 to 1998 in Querido maestro, with more veteran stars such as Imanol Arias, Ana Duato or Emma Suárez. However, this series was not an exclusive projection for her.

Gabriel worked to star in the movie Perdita Durango (1997) when it was to be directed by Bigas Luna. However, the movie eventually passed to director Álex de la Iglesia's hands, who chose Rosie Perez for the main role.

During 1997, she managed to work on another TV series, this time mini series Nostromo, another coproduction featuring star Colin Firth. Joseph Conrad's Nostromo was nominated for the ALMA Award to Outstanding Latino/a Cast in a Made-for-Television Movie or Mini-Series, but coud not reach it.

In this same year, she also appeared in a role in Enrico Colletti's Il Tocco: la sfida (aka Rack Up or The Cuemaster), a Spanish-Italian coproduction starring Franco Nero.

She also had a chance to work with acclaimed director Agustí Villaronga in 99.9, a thriller using paranormal activities, witchcraft and primitive Spain as a background. It was one of her few movies that went to cinema screens instead of TV. The movie that was a success for the critics both because of the director and the cinematography. During the filming, Gabriel thought that her performance could not be hard enough, but her character, Julia, is really scared. However, she herself admits that the movie is dominated by María Barranco as the host of a program about occultism, researching about the death of a friend.

Late 1990s showed a decrease of her activity, so that she featured only in drama Doña Bárbara (1998), a classic work by Rómulo Gallegos. Directed by Betty Kaplan and starring Jorge Perugorría, Gabriel plays marisela, the daughter of Doña Bárbara.

She has also had an appearance as herself in According to Occam's Razor (1999). She then passed to secondary roles, not achieving the success that her early awards suggested.

She worked again with Villaronga for Sinfín (2002), a thriller also featuring María Barranco and Terele Pávez.

On 2003, she appeared in nominated projects, such as mini series La Mari (nominated for the best TV movie to the Premios de la Academia de las Ciencias y las Artes de Televisión) and Historia de Estrella (same nomination). She also worked under Rafael Alcázer for Besos de gato, nominated to the best direction in the Málaga Film Festival.

As for now, Ruth Gabriel is still an active and young actress who probably can give some interesting surprises, although she does not seem to be interested in a return to muppet series.

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