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Gypsy Rose Lee!

Amazing stripper and author.

What a great dame.

I remember her on TV shows when I was growing up.

Anybody read the new book on her?

by Anonymousreply 5502/21/2013

Her movie "Belle of the Yukon" (1944 with Dinah Shore) has been playing on This HDTV network -- all costumes and art direction by Don Loper (remember him from I Love Lucy?) Lee is pretty terrific; anyone know why she didn't have a substantial film career? Loper gave her the *best* costumes, and Shore spends the entire movie in shmattas.%0D %0D I remember her talk show in the late '60's -- she was so down to earth, and very funny.

by Anonymousreply 101/13/2011

Would you care to share the title of the new book?

Or maybe post a link?

I love the woman and her tv show in San Fran was a delight. I have seen several videos of it. She was funny and real.

The little bit of video of her strip act showed why she was so loved.

by Anonymousreply 201/13/2011

Here's a link to the book...she was a smart fascinating character that clearly walked a different path than most women in the 1960's...

by Anonymousreply 301/13/2011

[quote]Lee is pretty terrific; anyone know why she didn't have a substantial film career?

She was a tall, somewhat horse-faced woman who looked more like a character actress than a leading lady on film. I don't know whether the name "Gypsy Rose Lee" had a history before she adopted it but the Hollywood censors of the 30s and 40s would not let her call herself that. Maybe it was her burlesque notoriety or maybe the name was thought to be synonymous with "whore."

She ended up using her real name, Louise Hovick, which was no asset. The censors lightened up in the 50s and she began doing TV and brief film appearances as Gypsy Rose Lee but by then she was firmly a character actress.

by Anonymousreply 401/13/2011

Hell of a lesbian that one.

by Anonymousreply 501/13/2011

That was Mama Rose, R5.

by Anonymousreply 601/13/2011

I recently read the book "Gyspy and Me" by Eric Preminger, her son. Pretty interesting stuff.%0D %0D I'd like to read both her original memoir and the new bio.

by Anonymousreply 701/14/2011

Is that fat guy who wrote a book that turned Kay Thompson straight planning to do the same for Gypsy Rose Lee?

by Anonymousreply 801/14/2011

R6 - BOTH.

by Anonymousreply 901/14/2011

Cameo in "The Trouble With Angels" starring Rosalind Russell and directed by Ida Lupino.

by Anonymousreply 1001/14/2011

Sorry, I don't know how to link it but there's a fab clip of her on youtube as the Mystery Guest on What's My Line?, appearing right after Gypsy opened on Broadway.

by Anonymousreply 1101/14/2011

The new book has some good stories but the writing is insufferably pretentious.

by Anonymousreply 1201/14/2011


by Anonymousreply 1301/14/2011

Gypsy Rose Lee would have been 100 years old this month.

by Anonymousreply 1401/14/2011

Her autobiography is filled to the brim with a blend of fact and fiction. It is one of the most enjoyable theatrical memoirs ever written.

by Anonymousreply 1501/14/2011

For R11.

by Anonymousreply 1601/14/2011

I was doing some research on her last year and got really tired of her selling the same old story over and over again. [italic]The G String Murders[/italic] and "Doll Face" and "Lady in Burlesque" and "Naked Genius" were all the exact same story, a variation on her own life. She may have been fabulous but she was also very one-note and limited.

[italic]Gypsy[/italic] (the autobiography) was better but wasn't that great, either, until Arthur Laurents got hold of it.

by Anonymousreply 1701/15/2011

Well, as Arthur Laurents has endlessly pointed out, it was Mama Rose who needed to be the focal point of the story.

by Anonymousreply 1801/15/2011

r16, thanks so much for posting! Forgot to mention, June Havoc did one of those WML? thingies too, but about 10 yars earlier.

by Anonymousreply 1901/15/2011

When you think about it a common stripper became the toast of society in a time when stripping was 'porn'; she pulled it off with class and humor, thus making her an iconic figure.

by Anonymousreply 2001/15/2011

Does anyone remember Gypsy Rose Lee on the Dating Game? What a mega-bitch, she hated the guy she picked. That really turned me off to her.

by Anonymousreply 2101/15/2011

Mother Rose ran a boardinghouse for lesbians. THAT'S the movie Babs should make.

by Anonymousreply 2201/15/2011

I was surprised to learn that her sister was Hedda Hopper.

by Anonymousreply 2301/15/2011

I'd love to see Emma Stone play her in a movie version of that great book.

by Anonymousreply 2401/15/2011

So, Gypsy Rose Lee was a lesbian then?

by Anonymousreply 2501/15/2011

Her mother Rose was a lesbian, R25. In fact, she shot and killed her lesbian lover:

[quote]Rose shot and killed one of her guests (according to Erik Preminger, she killed her own lover, who had made a pass at Gypsy) at the boardinghouse. This incident was explained as a suicide.

Erik Preminger was Rose's grandson and Gypsy Rose's son. He's the one who revealed the "suicide" was actually Rose killing her lesbian lover.

by Anonymousreply 2601/15/2011

Interesting to hear that Rose went for the ladies later in life. %0D %0D Her other daughter June Havoc/Hovic also wrote an autobiography, and while she didn't say anything about ladies, she did say that Rose married four times in rapid succession, but didn't want to have sex with husbands 2-4 (#1 fathered Gypsy and June). And for sex education, she just told her daughters to "NEVER let a man into your room!".%0D %0D %0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 2701/15/2011

Her last musical director, Armin Hoffman, related wonderful stories about her to me.

She was to have her FINAL comeback. Upon their first meeting, he picked up the score and noticed that their were 72 bars of music with 12 bars to repeat as needed. He went nuts and told her that the audience will fall asleep. She turned to him and said, "Mr. Hoffman, I hire you to do what you do best. Allow me to do what I do best". During rehearsals, when the music would play, she stood there saying, "I walk. I walk. I walk...". Armin said he was a nervous wreck.

Opening night, the music started. She came out. The audience went crazy! She walked...and walked...and walked and the audience screamed and would not quiet down. The repeat in the music ended up playing 12 times until she stopped the audience saying, "I can walk all night and all it will do is make me, I mean you, hotter!" The audience went nuts.

She then turned to Armin and said, "Your show can now begin!"

by Anonymousreply 2801/15/2011

Thanks for starting this, OP. I've just put in reserves for both the bio and the memoir at my library!

by Anonymousreply 2901/15/2011

[quote]The G String Murders and "Doll Face" and "Lady in Burlesque" and "Naked Genius" were all the exact same story...

Well, r17, your research should have revealed that Lady of Burlesque (not "in") was the title of the movie based on the novel "The G String Murders," so yes, those two were the same exact story...

And r29, don't forget to reserve the Eric Preminger memoir Gypsy and Me, which is funny and moving and told from her son's perspective.

by Anonymousreply 3001/15/2011

Wasn't Gypsy involved with Mike Todd between his marriages to Joan Blondell and Elizabeth Taylor? Though perhaps it was just professionally involved??

by Anonymousreply 3101/16/2011

Nice! R28...thank you!

by Anonymousreply 3201/16/2011

[quote]Amazing stripper and author.


by Anonymousreply 3301/16/2011

I like that story R28. Thanks for sharing.

by Anonymousreply 3401/16/2011

The new bio is "American Rose" by Karen Abbott. The reviews on Amazon are not all that positive, but I can vouch for her autobiography and "Gypsy and Me" being very interesting reads, especially if you're a fan of the musical "Gypsy."

It's a cliche that women in the sex industry are secretly all lesbians but it make sense as they experience straight male sexuality in its ugliest form.

Erik Lee Preminger says that his mother did not write her own books, but that's not such a terrible shock as very few celebrities do.

by Anonymousreply 3501/16/2011

Another fun read that involves Gypsy is "February House: The Story of W. H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof In Wartime America" which is about the house on Midden St. in Brooklyn that a number of writers, musicians and artists shared.

Apparently Gypsy used to love to follow fire engines to see where they were going, and Carson McCullers used to tag along with her. (That is a picture that gives me great pleasure to imagine).

by Anonymousreply 3601/16/2011

Years back, my father had a hardware store on the upper west side, and also did electrical and interior construction work for his customers. He did some work for Gypsy Rose Lee a few times. The only thing specific I remember him saying about her was that she had a huge, full frontal view nude, painting of herself in her living room and one time was standing right in front of it as she was talking to him. He said he was embarrassed as hell at the time. Other than that, he just said she was always a very nice person.

by Anonymousreply 3701/16/2011

There's another new book about her too, that came out in November 2010 called, "Stripping Gypsy: The Life of Gypsy Rose Lee."

by Anonymousreply 3801/16/2011

I thought she was swell in the screwball comedy "Bump and Grind" as madcap heiress Eleanore Bump who gets mixed up with the chorine Phylis Grind, played by Helen Lawson.

by Anonymousreply 3901/16/2011

W&W for r39. Anything about Helen Lawson is always so new, current, refreshing and hysterically funny.

by Anonymousreply 4001/16/2011

Ya gotta have a gimmick...

by Anonymousreply 4101/16/2011

I watched Gypsy Rose Lee recently in a DVD of Stage Door Canteen(1943) she was great! I don't know what one poster said she could not use her stage GRL-she did in that movie. And she was funny, classy, and beautiful head to toe.

by Anonymousreply 4202/21/2013

[quote]Sorry, I don't know how to link it...

This I don't understand. If a person knows how to find something on YouTube and can find their way to DL and know how to post a message on DL, how can they not know how to provide a link?

Are they unable to read "Url:" and see the box?

by Anonymousreply 4302/21/2013

"It's a cliche that women in the sex industry are secretly all lesbians but it make sense as they experience straight male sexuality in its ugliest form"

Um, no, that makes very little sense unless you're Pat Robertson or Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

by Anonymousreply 4402/21/2013

[quote] I was surprised to learn that her sister was Hedda Hopper.

As well you should have been, since it's not true. Her only sister was June Havoc.

by Anonymousreply 4502/21/2013

I love this photo of her. She looks quite glamorous and it also looks very modern. When made up and photographed well she was gorgeous.

by Anonymousreply 4602/21/2013

If you notice, r46, nndb lists her sexuality as "bisexual," and that's being conservative.

by Anonymousreply 4702/21/2013

I like her job description: Terpsichorean ecdysiast

by Anonymousreply 4802/21/2013

You'll need $10.00 for leotards!

by Anonymousreply 4902/21/2013

Her autobriography is a wonderful read, funny and strange. Do read it if you can find a copy.

by Anonymousreply 5002/21/2013

That info at R46 said she was "bi-sexual." She wasn't. Her mother was bi, or lesbian, but not her.

I read some of "American Rose." It's very lurid, and Gypsy doesn't come across as a very nice person. And Mama Rose is depicted as a murderous psychotic; supposedly she pushed a man out of a window, killing him, and shot to death one of her lesbian lover's because she made a pass at Gypsy.

June is more sympathetic. While still a toddler her mother puts her to work and she becomes the novelty act "Baby June", a tiny blonde girl, not much more than a baby, who could dance en pointe. Rose was told that it was terrible for a child that age to be in toe shoes and doing ballet moves, but Mama Rose didn't give a fuck. Later June became an accomplished marathon dancer. I guess she had cast iron feet from all those years daintily dancing on her little toes.

The story of Gypsy Rose Lee has been told in the musical and the movie based on the musical but it was mostly a whitewash. The REAL story of the life of Mama Rose and Gypsy Rose Lee and June Havoc is very dark indeed. It would make a GREAT dramatic movie.

by Anonymousreply 5102/21/2013

R21 wrote:[quote]Does anyone remember Gypsy Rose Lee on the Dating Game? What a mega-bitch, she hated the guy she picked. That really turned me off to her.

Yes! I also saw that show, and have been periodically searching YouTube for it for several years, but have yet to find it. I seem to recall that one of the bachelors she didn't pick was someone she knew (or knew [italic]of[/italic]) professionally or something - not sure. Anyway, he was in the business, and she was fawning all over him when she learned who he was and came around the partition to meet her. I think she said she wanted to cancel her date with the guy she chose and go with this other guy instead.

I was a kid at the time, and had no idea who the guy she wanted to date was. I'd really like to see that show again now that I'm older and will have a better idea what it was all about.

by Anonymousreply 5202/21/2013

r25/26, her mother's "boardinghouse" was a ten-room apartment on West End Avenue.

by Anonymousreply 5302/21/2013

It's a pity that she never achieved the acclaim of her sister Peggy.

by Anonymousreply 5402/21/2013

Or her cousin Vivian.

by Anonymousreply 5502/21/2013
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