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Survivor Wiki

Ruth Marie Tolly Milliman is a contestant from Survivor: Panama.

While she was initially branded as a strong competitor by her Casaya tribemates thanks to winning them the first Reward Challenge, Ruth Marie was less well-received on La Mina after the Tribe Dissolve thanks to her age, as well as the prominence of the all-male La Mina Alliance, and was sent home after being perceived as weak.


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Ruth Marie Milliman was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina, where she enjoyed athletics and was actively involved in Little Theater and competitive ballroom dancing, along with singing in pageants and weddings. She graduated from T.L. Hanna High School.

In 1975, Milliman was crowned Miss Teenage Greenville and participated in Miss Teenage America. She then attended the University of South Carolina, where she eventually received a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice. While in college, she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority and was a cheerleader (she was head cheerleader for the squad in 1979). She also worked as a page for the South Carolina House of Representatives.

During her college years, Milliman was crowned the 1978 South Carolina Watermelon Queen and the 1979 Miss Cayce West Columbia. She attended the Miss South Carolina Pageant, in which she was voted Miss Photogenic by the press.

After graduating college, Milliman was hired by Eastern Airlines as a flight attendant. In 1981, she was appointed First Female Narcotics agent with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Agency and attended the South Carolina Police Academy.

For the past 19 years, Milliman has been involved with and employed in shopping center development. She is currently the Director of Retail Leasing for Centennial American Properties in Greenville, South Carolina.

Milliman has been running competitively since 1992 and holds many road race records in South Carolina. In 2001, she was awarded the YWCA Women in Sports Award. In 2003, she participated in the Marathon Des Sables, a race often called "the toughest footrace on the planet." The competition entails a seven day, 152-mile stage race. She finished second out of 59 women and placed 100th overall out of 677 runners. She was featured in an Emmy-nominated ESPN special about the race, titled "Foot Race Across the Sand."

Milliman is an active member of the PTA for Greenville High School and is a member of the Greenville High Booster Club. She was head coach for the Greenville Track Club Junior Olympic Youth Program for four years. She is also a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Milliman is the proud mother of two teenage children, Anna, 15, and Max, 17. She currently resides in Greenville, South Carolina. Her birth date is April 11, 1957.[1]


Being 48 at the time, Ruth Marie was placed on the Casaya tribe, which consisted of older women. Ruth Marie was selected to represent her tribe in the Reward Challenge which involved smashing skulls to find an amulet. Ruth Marie was able to find the last amulet before Danielle DiLorenzo and earn her tribe flint. The women worked at building the camp. Ruth Marie, along with the rest of her tribe was particularly impressed by Tina Scheer's strength and abilities. Sadly, the older women lost the first Immunity Challenge. Cirie Fields, knowing she was in danger, tried to convince Ruth Marie and Melinda Hyder that Tina was not necessary for survival. Although Tina caught a large fish, Ruth Marie voted against her because Tina said the women were not working hard enough for Tina's standards.

On Day 4, a tribe switch occurred and Ruth Marie was selected by Nick Stanbury to be on the new La Mina tribe and she would complete the tribe by selecting Dan Barry over Bruce Kanegai. La Mina would win the first Immunity and Reward Challenges of the new tribes. La Mina would lose the next Immunity Challenge. Ruth Marie was concerned as she was the only "Older Woman" on the new tribe and was considered the physically weakest member of the group. Ruth Marie was spared due to the men of her tribe deeming Misty Giles the bigger threat for possibly having the Hidden Immunity Idol and being strategically smart. Dan invited her to the alliance, viewing her as a loyal asset to the group. He promised her the group would protect her until the final five and vote out Sally Schumann. When La Mina lost the Immunity Challenge, the other men wanted Sally for her strength and noted that they made no such promise to Ruth Marie. Ruth Marie voted out in a 4-2 vote, with Dan keeping his promise to her.

Episode Tribe
Challenge Challenge Type Sit-Out? Result
1 Casaya Skull Crush Reward No 3rd
4x4 Immunity No Lost
Switched Tribes, Day 4
2 La Mina A Reptile Dysfunction Reward No Won
Anchor Management Immunity No Won
3 Cross Fire Reward No Won
Battle Dig Immunity No Lost
4 Puzzle Paranoia Reward No Lost
Sea Level, Tree Level Immunity No Lost
Voted Out, Day 11

Episode Ruth Marie's
Voted Against
Ruth Marie
1 Tina -
2 La Mina Tribe Immune
3 Misty Misty, Sally
4 Sally Austin, Nick,
Sally, Terry
Voted Out, Day 11


  • On January 9, 2010, Ruth Marie attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.
  • Ruth Marie has since gotten married to Marc Embler and now goes by the name "Ruth Marie Embler".[2]


  • Ruth Marie is the oldest woman to compete on Panama.
  • Ruth Marie only voted against women.
  • The first Tribal Council Ruth Marie attended was the only one at which she did not receive votes.
  • Ruth Marie is the only original member of Casaya to be switched to La Mina.


Survivor: Panama Castaways
S12 aras t
S12 austin t
S12 bobby t
La Mina
S12 bruce t
S12 cirie t
S12 courtney t
La Mina
S12 dan t
S12 danielle t
S12 melinda t
S12 misty t
S12 nick t
 Ruth Marie
S12 ruthmarie t
S12 sally t
La Mina
S12 shane t
La Mina
S12 terry t
S12 tina t