Ruth Lenore Carter, a longtime personal assistant who worked in numerous facets of the U.S. and Euro film industry nearly four decades and who was a political activist, died Feb. 3 of cancer at her home in Monterey, Calif. She was 86.

A native of Chicago and graduate of UCLA, her interest in politics led her to join the Communist Party during the 1930s and later helped longshoremen organize.

During the early 1950s she and her second husband moved to Europe, where she later helped found the English Language Dubbing Assn. in Rome. She worked as a dialogue coach and personal assistant for both Ava Gardener and Gloria Swanson.

Following her return to the United States, she worked as an assistant to writer-producer Norman Lear when Lear and partner Bud Yorkin founded Tandem Prods., which later created “All in the Family,” “Maude” and “The Jeffersons.”

A partner in the Tillman-Carter Gallery in Los Angeles, she introduced painters such as Sunol Alvar to America.

Divorced in 1964, she moved back to Rome and worked in many capacities on numerous films. She was also a founder of the English Players, the first modern-day English-language theater company in Rome.

Following cancer surgery in 1996, she relocated to Monterey, Calif.

She is survived by a nephew and numerous cousins.

Family suggests donations in Carter’s name be made to the Assn. of Cancer On-line Resources, 173 Duane St., Third Floor, New York, NY 10013 or to First Night Monterey, Box 185, Monterey, CA 93942.

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