Gypsy Rose Lee

Definition

Theater

  • Stage name of Rose Louise Hovick (?1911 - 70), the US stripteaseartist noted for the wit, sophistication, and style she introducedto her craft. Together with her sister (later the actress, June Havoc),she joined her mother on the vaudeville circuit at a very early age.At 14 she had her first engagement in burlesque; within twoyears she was on Broadway, heading the bill at Billy Minsley's RepublicTheatre. Dubbed the Queen of Burlesque, she was lionizedby some of New York's most celebrated writers and intellectuals, andbecame a regular contributor to such publications as Harper'sand The New Yorker. In 1937 she announced her retirement asa stripper; she then moved to Hollywood to make her film debut, inYou Can't Have Everything. Over the next three decades sheplayed in a further eight, generally rather mediocre, films. She quiteregularly emerged from retirement to make stage appearances and wrotetwo popular thrillers, The G-string Murders and Mother Findsa Body. In later life she liked to refer to herself as "an authoress who sometimes strips". Her autobiographical book, Gypsy (1957), formed the basis for Stephen Sondheim's successful Broadway musical of the same name (1959) and later for a rather less successful film version (1962).
    God is love, but get it in writing.
    Gypsy Rose Lee
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