Obituary: Vivian Ringer


Vivian Ringer, a longtime Malibu resident, author and world traveler, died at her home Sept. 28. She was 91.

Vivian Barbara Sharp was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada, and grew up in Saskatoon. She attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on a scholarship before moving to New York City to help organize George Braziller’s liberal publishing house, The Book Find Club.

In 1948, Ringer moved to Los Angeles, where she was hired by the Daily News as a summer replacement on the women’s page. There she met Roy Ringer, who worked on the paper’s copy desk. They were married in 1955.

After leaving the Daily News, Ringer worked at various jobs in television advertising and publicity, and as a fundraiser for the Arts, Sciences and Professions Council. That organization evolved into a committee for the defense of the Hollywood Ten during the Congressional hearings of the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

Ringer later worked at John Sutherland Productions and Edward L. Alperson Productions before deciding to try her hand at freelance writing. She sold stories to magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post, Redbook and McCall’s. Her novel, “The Secretary,” was published by Delacorte in hardcover and Dell in paperback.

Ringer and her husband, Roy, lived in Malibu for 48 years. During that time, they spent a year and a half in Monk’s House in Sussex, England, the former home of Virginia Woolf, and also lived for extended periods in Jerusalem, Paris and Provence. 

The couple converted their globe-trotting experiences into articles for the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe and other newspapers. The couple was active in liberal politics and entertained friends at their Point Dume home. Over the years, they became known for their dinner parties and their skills as gourmet cooks.

Ringer is survived by her family and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, who died in 2007.

No service will be held. Ringer’s ashes will be scattered at Monk’s House.