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Ruth Kraft, Co-Founder of 'Performing Arts' Magazine, Dies at 86

Ruth Kraft - P 2013
Courtesy of Steve Moyer

She launched the L.A.-based publication with her husband in 1966; it was shuttered in 2002.

Ruth Kraft, who founded the now-defunct regional theater publication Performing Arts magazine with her late husband, died May 9 in Beverly Hills after battling cancer for many years, a family spokesman said. She was 86.

Ruth and Gilman Kraft came to Los Angeles in 1966 and started the magazine, a monthly similar to Playbill that offered articles about California's performing-arts scene along with each theater's program pages. Playbill closed Performing Arts in September 2002 after acquiring its parent, Stagebill, a year earlier.

Gilman Kraft also owned and operated Playbill for a decade. He died in 1999.

Ruth Kraft was born Feb. 17, 1927, in Hoboken, N.J. She married Gilman in 1962 and worked at Playbill in New York.

Survivors include children Frank, Richard, Susan and Dana, 10 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

A celebration of her life will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Beverly Hills Tennis Club. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Westside Center for Independent Living, the Tower Cancer Foundation and/or The Heart Fund.