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May 30 in Twilight Zone History: Happy Birthday to actress Ruta Lee

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May 30, 2018

Today, May 30th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the birthday of actress Ruta Lee, who portrayed Flora, the sexy, saucy trophy wife of aging Harmon Gordon (Patrick O'Neal) in "A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain."

Harmon is trying to keep up with his bored bride but age is getting in the way. He soon discovers that his brother is working on an untested youth serum, which he demands to take. Of course, there are unexpected consequences – especially for Flora.

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Aging Harmon Gordon (Patrick O'Neal) begins to realize that, unless he does something drastic, he's going to lose his young wife, Flora (Ruta Lee) in "A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain."

Lee, who was born Ruta Mary Kilmonis, first came to the public's attention as one of the title characters in the super energetic MGM musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. She later lit up television in the late 1950s, '60s, and '70s playing the leading lady on everything from Gunsmoke to Hogan's Heroes to 77 Sunset Strip and so many others.

However, it was in the field of charitable giving that Ruta has made her greatest contribution, as for many years she was the prime mover behind the Thalians, an L.A.-based non-profit that enlightens the world about mental illness.

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For literally decades, lovely Ruta Lee was the saucy Queen of television. 

So let's raise another short drink from a certain fountain to Ruta Lee, who perhaps took a sip from Harmon's cup and smoothed out an immortal corner of The Twilight Zone.