Born: Established: 30 Jul 1925 Adelaide ;
Daughter of noted physicians Sir Raphael West Cilento and Lady Phyllis Cilento, Ruth Cilento is the third of six children. She was born while her mother was staying in Adelaide but grew up elsewhere. Cilento spent her early years in Papua New Guinea where her father was Director of Health from 1923 to 1927. The family moved to Queensland in 1927.
Cilento was educated at Somerville House and went on to study medicine. She married Westie Smout, also a doctor, and they had a practice in Bald Hills, Brisbane. In her autobiography Lady Cilento: My Life (1987): 264, Cilento's mother wrote of her daughter that she was 'a woman of many achievements - sculptor, author, psychiatrist and general practitioner - who also conducts a centre for nutrition and relaxation in the rehabilitation of cancer patients'.
In addition to the works indexed on AustLit, Cilento has written self-help works and cookbooks relating to cancer and dementia. She has also edited Lady Phyllis's Better Health with Medical Mother (1991). Cilento wrote an unpublished play, 'Down by the Coast' in 1962.