Dr. Ruth Has Seen the Play About Her Life More Than Fifteen Times

By
Photo: Jeff Schear/Getty Images

Name: Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer
Age:
85
Neighborhood:
Washington Heights
Occupation:
Psychosexual therapist. On Wednesday, November 27, she’ll be hosting a special book signing and talk with Mark St. Germain and Debra Jo Rupp after the evening performance of Becoming Dr. Ruth, the Off-Broadway play based on her life.

Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Ed Koch and I were good friends. To me, he embodied the spirit of New York, a bit brash but with a heart of gold.

What's the best meal you've eaten in New York?
Any meal I have at Sardi's because I always sit under my caricature.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
Seeing clients, keeping up with the literature of my profession, preparing for lectures, interviewing people for a new book.

What was your first job in New York?
As a cleaning lady, for $0.75 an hour.

What's the last thing you saw on Broadway?
Becoming Dr. Ruth. I've seen it fifteen times and I'm going again tonight!

Do you give money to panhandlers?
Yes.

What's your drink?
Dr. Ruth's Vin D'Amour.

How often do you prepare your own meals?
Never.

What's your favorite medication?
Any antacid.

What's hanging above your sofa?
Pictures of my grandchildren and a picture of Jerusalem.

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
$350.

When's bedtime?
Midnight, and nobody can call me before 9 a.m.

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
New by much.

What do you think of Donald Trump?
When I think of Donald Trump I think of the skating rink he rebuilt and all the couples who went on a first date there and are now happily married.

What do you hate most about living in New York?
Nothing, I love New York. It's the best city for a widow because there's something to do every night.

Who is your mortal enemy?
Sexual boredom.

When's the last time you drove a car?
About a year ago.

How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
I wasn't affected directly, but it saddened me to see so many friends who were affected.

Times, Post, or Daily News?
Times
and Post every day.

Where do you go to be alone?
Fort Tryon Park, sitting on the bench that has my late husband's name on it.

What makes someone a New Yorker?
Loving New York with a passion. Not complaining about the traffic.