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Westerly, Rhode Island: Ruth Buzzi Park Bench

Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In TV show cast member Ruth Buzzi played the iconic old park bench bitty Gladys Ormphby. The bench was dedicated Buzzi's birthplace town in 1971.

44 Broad St., Westerly, RI
Wilcox Park, near the fountain at the public library end of the park. The bench has a marker in front of it.
The park is open during daylight hours Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Ruth Buzzi Memorial Bench.

Ruth Buzzi Park Bench

The Ruth Buzzi bench is right beside the library, next to the fountain.

[Sir Seeks Alot, 07/24/2012]

Ruth Buzzi Memorial Bench.

Ruth Buzzi Park Bench

In the late '60s and early '70s, TV sensation "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" starred among its cast members Ruth Buzzi, who often portrayed the comic role of a drab spinster named Gladys Ormphby. Hair-netted, sad-faced Gladys would sit on a park bench until verbally accosted by a dirty old bearded man played by Arte Johnson, who she would proceed to beat with her handbag.

In 1970, Ruth was the focus of a "This is Your Life" program, and the show donated a bench in honor of her beloved character Gladys to Westerly, Buzzi's birthplace.

It's been restored and was in fine shape when we stopped by lovely Wilcox Park a couple of years ago. It's near the fountain at the public library end of the park. There it sits with its stone marker, carved by Buzzi Memorials, Ruth's family's business, still operating in the area today.

[Gunnar Johnson, 04/09/2012]

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