Ruth Di Muzio

woman holding up picture from photo album

New York actress chooses Applewood’s active lifestyle for retirement. A director friend in the acting community brought Ruth Di Muzio to Applewood. “Bill Starsinic directed me in several productions over the years,” Ruth recalls. “I visited Bill and his wife at Applewood several times and quickly grew to love the community’s friendly atmosphere.” Bill created and directed the resident Actor’s Studio group, which attracted new thespians and those with previous stage and screen experience.

A native New Yorker, Ruth honed her career as an actor, singer and dancer on New York and New Jersey stages and upscale dinner theater productions. Her resume of leading roles is lengthy and impressive. “I always felt secure and confidant on stage, so perhaps that helped me land so many roles over the years,” she notes. Her acting credits include Suddenly Last Summer, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Hostage, Once Upon a Mattress, Valpone and the Gingerbread Lady.

Ruth continued to perform in local and regional theater productions after her family moved to New Jersey. After her husband passed away, the Toms River home they shared no longer felt like home.

“Loneliness is one of the biggest causes of illness,” Ruth notes. “I’m a social person and suddenly felt cut-off and isolated, particularly after Covid hit.” She also didn’t want to be a worry to her son and daughter, who had their own busy lives to manage.

Ruth attributes her success in the performing arts to doing her homework and always being prepared. She conducted her search for a retirement community using these same skills, prioritizing finding an affordable home with plenty of light and minimal upkeep.

She found the perfect fresh start in a familiar setting—Applewood. In November 2020, after happily downsizing more than half of her possessions, Ruth and her beloved Chihuahua Mimi settled into a 436-square-foot chestnut apartment with large windows and a door leading to a private outdoor patio.

“My new home resembles a favorite Manhattan apartment I lived in years ago.”

Her artistic New York City flair abounds throughout her home, which features a gallery wall dedicated to her late husband’s oil paintings. Framed memorabilia and photographs of past performances are interspersed with eclectic pieces of art collected from her travels and local flea markets.

Ruth has been delighted by the warm welcome she received from residents. She looks forward to the community cocktail parties and plans to join the new line dancing class. “I love that you can be busy all day long or pick and choose a few activities. There’s no pressure either way.”

Of course, the big question is, will Ruth get involved in Applewood’s performing arts experiences? “After working in the theater for nearly five decades, I’m not sure I want to resurrect that experience,” she notes, saying she would prefer to focus on painting and crocheting again.

“Applewood has made me feel a part of things again. And when I want to socialize, I just have to step outside my door, no car required,” Ruth says with a smile.