Actress Ruta Lee and her husband Webb Lowe Jr. made a stop by the National Firearms Museum earlier this week. Long time friends of Robert and Margie Petersen (as well as NRA's own Wayne LaPierre), they made their way to the Museum for a tour of the facility and a look at the Petersen Gallery.
LaPierre personally extended an invitation for the trip to NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, throwing in a guided tour of the museum's new Petersen wing by Senior Curator Phil Schreier.
Born to Lithuanian parents in Montreal, Mrs. Lee moved to Los Angeles with her family when she was 6 and began studying theater. She has a long list of acting credits including appearances on The Twilight Zone, Hogan's Heroes, Gunsmoke and Fantasy Island. Ruta made her debut on the silver screen as one of the brides in the 1954 film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers which received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
Lee was also a regular on the game show circuit. In fact, you would often see her service as guest star on a number of shows including Hollywood Squares, What's My Line?, and as Alex Trebek's co-host on High Rollers.
Outside of acting, Mrs. Lee is a prominent member of The Thalians, a Hollywood-based charity that seeks to educate and enlighten the world about mental illness and, through raising awareness, eliminating the stigma attached to it.
Lee has alternated with fellow Thalian Debbie Reynolds for many years as Chairman of the Board for the organization and worked alongside both Robert and Margie Petersen who were extremely active supporters of the charity.
Upon arriving at NRA Headquarters, Lee and Lowe Jr. were greeted by NRA President David Keene and Executive Director of General Operations Kayne Robinson who accompanied the couple through the museum.
The tour began in the museum's newest wing, the Robert E. Petersen Gallery, where Mrs. Lee marveled at the spectacular collection of firearms her friend had amassed throughout his life. Phil highlighted several of the more prominent pieces of the Petersen Gallery such as the Parker Invincibles, Gatling gun collection and the Vampire Gun.
Ruta was especially drawn to the gun owned by Annie Oakley, having played the role of arguably the world's most famous female shooter numerous times throughout her career.
At the conclusion of the tour, both Ruta and Webb were extremely pleased with their visit and thanked Phil for sharing his vast knowledge of the firearms as they walked through the museum.