Children’s television actress Ruth Enders Tripp, whose husband wrote the popular children’s story “Tubby the Tuba,” died July 28 in New York after a long illness. She was 79.
Tripp, born in Ridgefield Park, N.J., began her acting career at the John Drew Theatre in Easthampton, N.Y., where she performed with Ernie Kovacs and Betty Comden before winning a scholarship to study acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
After completing her studies, Tripp returned to New York where she made her Broadway debut in George K. Kaufmann and Moss Hart’s “The American Way.” She then starred in her own one-woman show, touring the country.
During World War II, Tripp worked at the Daily News as a radio news writer and helped publish a book by her husband, Paul Tripp, “Tubby the Tuba.” The children’s book became an instant classic.
The success led to further collaboration between husband and wife, such as acting together in numerous children’s TV shows. From 1949 to 1952, the couple starred alongside Walter Matthau, Joe Silver and Richard Boone in CBS’s “Mr. I. Magination,” and from 1963-69, Tripp appeared in “Birthday House,” a WNBC children’s show.
She also acted in the 1965 children’s film “The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t,” a creation by her husband.
Beside her husband, Tripp is survived by a daughter, a son, a brother and two grandchildren.