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Gypsy Rose Lee

Biography

American burlesque dancer, actress, and article writer whose popular memoir was modified in to the Broadway musical Gypsy. Her secret book, The G-String Murders, offered as the foundation for the Barbara Stanwyck film Woman of Burlesque. Starting at age seven, she performed with her more youthful sister, June, inside a vaudeville take action entitled “Baby June and Her Farmboys.” She acted inside a 1937 film entitled You Can’t Possess Everything. Her celebrity sister passed the stage name of June Havoc. Jule Styne made up the music for Gypsy, a musical predicated on Gypsy Rose Lee’s memoir.

Quick Facts


Full Name Gypsy Rose Lee
Date Of Birth February 9, 1914
Died April 26, 1970, Los Angeles, California, United States
Place Of Birth Seattle, WA
Height 1.73 m
Profession Stage Actress
Nationality American
Spouse Julio De Diego, Alexander Kirkland, Robert Mizzy
Children Erik Lee Preminger
Parents Rose Thompson Hovick, John Hovick
Siblings June Havoc
Movies Gypsy, Stage Door Canteen, Lady of Burlesque, Belle of the Yukon, The Trouble with Angels, Ali Baba Goes to Town, Screaming Mimi, You Can't Have Everything, Wind Across the Everglades, Battle of Broadway, Sally, Irene and Mary, Babes in Bagdad, The Over-the-Hill Gang, My Lucky Star, The Stripper, Who Has Seen the Wind?
TV Shows The Pruitts of Southampton, Think Fast
Star Sign Aquarius

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1After she was diagnosed with lung cancer she reconciled with her sister June.
2Her father was of Norwegian descent. Her mother was of British Isles and German ancestry.
3Portrayed by Natalie Wood in Gypsy (1962) and even appeared on set to give Wood advice on how to perform the stripper dance routines. In real life Wood was actually eight inches shorter than the real Gypsy Rose Lee.
4Sister-in-law of William Spier.
5In Gypsy (1962), Rosalind Russell portrayed Gypsy Rose Lee's mother. In The Trouble with Angels (1966), Russell appeared with Lee.
6Parents: John Hovick and Rose Thompson Hovick.
7Her mother Rose died from colon cancer in 1954.
8Like her mother, Lee was married three times.
9The walls of her Los Angeles home were adorned with pictures by Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, and Dorothea Tanning, all of which were reportedly gifts to her by the artists themselves.
10Although she was a "stripper," she never actually got undressed.
11She had many pets, including cats, turtles, guinea pigs, and Chinese crested dogs.
12When she was diagnosed with cancer in 1969, she called it "a present from mother".
13At one of her weddings, Gypsy had a chimpanzee as a ring bearer.
14Aunt of April Kent.
15In the 1940s, Gypsy Rose Lee was in love with the theatrical impresario Michael Todd, who produced two Broadway shows starring Lee ("Star and Garter" and "The Naked Genius"). She married Alexander Kirkland in 1942 in an attempt to make the already-married Todd jealous. They divorced in 1944. While married to Kirkland, she had a brief fling with Otto Preminger. The fruit of their affair was a boy named Erik Lee, who has been known successively as Erik Kirkland, Erik de Diego, and Erik Lee Preminger.
16Mother of Erik Lee Preminger.
17Gypsy Rose started dancing and stripping at burlesque houses at the age of 15 with the assistance of fellow dancer "Tessie The Tassel Twirler." She retired from burlesque 8 years later to appear in films but documented her rise to fame and adventurous relationship with her mother in the autobiographical book, "Gypsy."
18Older sister of June Havoc.


Actress

Actress

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Over-the-Hill Gang1969TV MovieCassie
The Name of the Game1968TV SeriesRosetta Stewart
The Gypsy Rose Lee Show1967TV SeriesHostess
Batman1966TV SeriesNewscaster
The Phyllis Diller Show1966TV SeriesRegina
The Trouble with Angels1966Mrs. Phipps
Who Has Seen the Wind?1965TV MovieProprietress
Burke's Law1964TV SeriesMiss Bumpsy Cathcart
The Stripper1963Madame Olga
Wind Across the Everglades1958Mrs. Bradford
Screaming Mimi1958Joann 'Gypsy' Masters
The United States Steel Hour1956-1958TV SeriesLorraine Anderson / Wendy Graves
The Steve Allen Plymouth Show1956TV SeriesSaloon Girl
Babes in Bagdad1952Zohara
Belle of the Yukon1944Belle De Valle
Stage Door Canteen1943Gypsy Rose Lee
My Lucky Star1938Marcelle La Verne (as Louise Hovick)
Battle of Broadway1938Linda Lee (as Louise Hovick)
Sally, Irene and Mary1938Joyce Taylor (as Louise Hovick)
Ali Baba Goes to Town1937Sultana / Louise Hovick (as Louise Hovick)
You Can't Have Everything1937Lulu Riley (as Louise Hovick)

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Gypsy1993TV Movie book "Gypsy, A Memoir" - uncredited
Gypsy1962from the memoirs of
Doll Face1945play "The Naked Genius" - as Louise Hovick
Lady of Burlesque1943novel "The G-String Murders"

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Screaming Mimi1958performer: "Put the Blame on Mame" - uncredited
Belle of the Yukon1944performer: "Every Girl Is Different"

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Allen Ludden's Gallery1969TV SeriesHerself
Della1969TV SeriesHerself
The Joey Bishop Show1967-1969TV SeriesHerself
The Hollywood Squares1968-1969TV SeriesHerself - Panelist
The Steve Allen Show1968TV SeriesHerself
Gypsy1965-1967TV SeriesHerself - Hostess
Around the World of Mike Todd1967TV Movie documentaryHerself
What's My Line?1950-1967TV SeriesHerself - Mystery Guest / Herself - Panelist
The Eamonn Andrews Show1965TV SeriesHerself
That Regis Philbin Show1965TV SeriesHerself
The Object Is1964TV SeriesHerself
The New Steve Allen Show1964TV SeriesHerself
Fractured Flickers1963TV SeriesHerself
The Mike Douglas Show1962TV SeriesHerself - Co-Host
Stump the Stars1962TV SeriesHerself - Guest Panelist
The Jack Paar Tonight Show1958-1961TV SeriesHerself
Here's Hollywood1961TV SeriesHerself
Main Event1961TV MovieHerself - Guest
Celebrity Talent Scouts1960TV SeriesHerself
The Big Party1959TV SeriesHerself
You Asked for It1959TV SeriesHerself
Brains & Brawn1958TV SeriesHerself
The Arthur Murray Party1957TV SeriesHerself
I've Got a Secret1957TV SeriesHerself - Celebrity Guest
Person to Person1957TV Series documentaryHerself
The Name's the Same1953TV SeriesHerself - Guest Contestant
Okay, Mother1950TV SeriesHerself
Think Fast1949TV SeriesHerself - Host

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Six by Sondheim2013TV Movie documentaryHerself
Pioneers of Television2008TV Mini-Series documentaryHerself
Striptease: The Greatest Exotic Dancers of All Time2004Video documentaryHerself
E! Mysteries & Scandals1999TV Series documentaryHerself
Gypsy Rose Lee's Home Movies1998Herself
American Masters1997TV Series documentaryHerself
Biography1996TV Series documentaryHerself
Bogart: The Untold Story1996TV Movie documentaryHerself - in March on Washington D.C. (uncredited)
Gypsy1993TV MovieHerself
Brother Can You Spare a Dime1975DocumentaryHerself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 8 February 1960. At 6351 Hollywood Blvd.


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#Quote
1If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing slowly... very slowly.
2Men aren't attracted to me by my mind. They're attracted by what I don't mind.
3I have everything I had twenty years ago--except now it's all lower.


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