Comedian Rita Rudner has a secret weapon - a lethal wit wrapped up in a soft-spoken delivery - and she knows how to use it. She is captivating audiences and critics alike, both here and abroad, with her clever observations, sharp timing and Gracie Allen-like style. With her gentle voice, porcelain skin and big, crayon-blue eyes, Rudner shatters the stereotype of brassy, tough comediennes with poise and sophistication.
Rita Rudner has parlayed her "niceness" into an impressive list of credits: she won the 1990 American Comedy Award as Best Female Stand-Up, she starred in her own comedy variety series in England which aired on the BBC 2; and she's starred in her first solo hour-long special for HBO titled "Born To Be Mild".
In addition, Rudner became a regular on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson where she trades quips with him with ease. Her other television credits include numerous appearances on "Late Night With David Letterman", performing on Comic Relief, starring in her own HBO "One Night Stand" in '89, being one of four featured comediennes on HBO's first 'Women Of The Night" special and a co-host of the NBC summer series "Funny People". Rudner also recently made Friars Club history by being the first female comic ever invited to be a "roaster".
One of the most ethereal comedians on today's hyperkinetic comedy circuit, Rita Rudner's soft-spoken humor has led to sold-out club appearances across the U.S.A. as well as in England and Australia. Her non-stop, witty observations on modern life cover such diverse topics as relationships, family and the importance of cleaning ladies.
Rita Rudner's credits Woody Allen as the inspiration for her subtle, intellectual comedy style. "Listening to Woody Allen," she says, "I realized that you didn't have to be aggressive...My humor is more offbeat hysterical than it is raucous." Starting with a base of solid jokes that build on one another, each stronger than the last, Rita takes each premise to its fullest, most absurd point.
A native of Miami, Rudner left home at age 15 to seek her fame and fortune on the Broadway stage. "I never even considered college," she says. "I was a dancer - I hated sitting down." She soon landed a role in the national touring company of' Zorba" and went on to appear in "Annie", "The Magic Show", "Mack and Mabel", "Follies", and "Promises, Promises" on Broadway.
After six years of sharing the footlights with others, Rita Rudner decided to go solo and looked around for a career that offered good opportunities for women. At that time the field of stand-up comedy was wide open so Rudner set her sights in that direction and hasn't looked back since. She now commands center stage and seems to thrive on the attention that once used to give her a case of the hives.
Married to English comedy producer Martin Bagmen, Rudner now makes her home the West Coast and when not performing she devotes her time to writing screenplays and trying to figure out her sprinkler system.