Lee, Gypsy Rose, 1914-1970

Alternative names

Hide Profile

Lee, an American burlesque entertainer, was one of the most famous strippers of all time, and was proclaimed during her lifetime to be the most publicized woman in the world. She starred in theater, 12 films, and eventually her own television show, "The Gypsy Rose Lee Show" (1958). Besides her mystery novels THE G-STRING MURDERS (1941) and MOTHER FINDS A BODY (1942), she wrote an autobiography, GYPSY (1957), which was a bestseller.

From the description of Gypsy Rose Lee collection, 1941. (Peking University Library). WorldCat record id: 74213846

Gypsy Rose Lee, burlesque star, actress, author and television personality was born Rose Louise Hovick, January 9, 1914 in Seattle, Washington.

She performed with her sister June in vaudeville shows touring the country during the 1920s. After the decline in vaudeville's popularity, Miss Lee turned to burlesque and became a major striptease star in the 1930s. In 1938, she signed with Twentieth Century-Fox to act in films. She went back to burlesque in the 1940s, but began to cultivate her writing skills becoming an author. She wrote three mystery novels and her memoir, entitled GYPSY (1957), which was adapted for the stage in 1959 and became a motion picture in 1962. Gypsy Rose Lee moved from New York to California in 1965 and soon became host of her own talk show which ran from 1965-1968. Gypsy Rose Lee died April 26, 1970.

From the description of Gypsy Rose Lee Archive, 1910-1970. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122608292

Gypsy Rose Lee (1914-1970) burlesque star, actress, author and television personality was born Rose Louise Hovick, January 9, 1914 in Seattle, Washington. Her mother Rose Thompson and her father, John Hovick, a reporter, divorced shortly after the birth of their second child June. Rose Thompson was determined to make a stage career for her children. Rose Louise made her stage debut at the age of four in Just Kids, a "kiddy act" with her sister, "Baby June," who later became the actress June Havoc. The act, which changed over the years as the girls aged, toured the vaudeville circuit successfully for several years, but with the decline of vaudeville Rose Louise turned to burlesque. By the 1930s she had transformed herself into Gypsy Rose Lee and was one of the biggest stars in burlesque, known as much for her sophisticated sense of humor as for her artful stripping. Gypsy Rose Lee performed in the Ziegfeld Follies, at Billy Rose's Casino de Paree, and in Mike Todd's The Streets of Paris at the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair. In 1942 she brought her burlesque act to Broadway in Mike Todd's Star and Garter . Gypsy Rose Lee took to the road again in the late 1940s, touring with the Royal American Shows, playing carnivals throughout the United States and Canada.

Gypsy Rose Lee went to Hollywood in the late 1930s and appeared in several films including Stage Door Canteen and Belle of the Yukon . However, it was her work as a writer that achieved more universal acclaim. She contributed articles to American Mercury, Cosmopolitan, Harper's, and New Yorker, in addition to authoring three books. Her mystery, The G-String Murders, published in 1941 was a bestseller. In 1942 she published Mother Finds a Body . Her play The Naked Genius, starring Joan Blondell and directed by George S. Kaufman, was beset by problems, but survived a short run on Broadway in 1943. In 1957 Gypsy Rose Lee recounted the story of her early life in her memoirs, entitled Gypsy . The musical version of her book, also entitled Gypsy, opened on Broadway in 1959, starring Ethel Merman as Gypsy's mother, Rose. The 1962 movie version of Gypsy starred Rosalind Russell as Mama Rose and Natalie Wood as Gypsy.

In the 1950s and 1960s Gypsy Rose Lee continued to work on the stage in theater and club performances. She appeared throughout the country in various shows including Auntie Mame, and her own autobiographical presentation, A Curious Evening with Gypsy Rose Lee . From 1965 to 1968 she hosted a television program, The Gypsy Rose Lee Show . She was also a frequent guest on talk and game shows.

Gypsy Rose Lee's personal interests were as varied as her professional pursuits. She oversaw the decoration of her homes, both in New York and later in California, including the selection of art with works by Bougereau, de Chirico, de Diego, Ernst, Picasso and Vertes. She was also a painter, gardener, and animal lover. Over the years she had many pets including Chinese crested dogs (which she worked to have recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club), fish, birds and peacocks. Miss Lee was an accomplished knitter, seamstress and quilter. Her needlework was exhibited in several shows including one at the Hallmark Gallery in New York.

Gypsy Rose Lee also contributed her time and talents to a variety of causes. She performed for the troops during both World War II and the Vietnam War and participated in the War Bond Drive. She raised money for many charities and animal welfare groups and was actively involved with the Greenwich Village Humane League for many years.

Gypsy Rose Lee was married three times: to manufacturer Arnold R. Mizzy in 1937; to actor, producer Alexander Kirkland in 1942; and to artist Julio de Diego in 1948. All three marriages ended in divorce. Her son Erik Lee Kirkland Preminger (father Otto Preminger) was born in 1944. Gypsy Rose Lee died of lung cancer, April 26, 1970 at the age of 56.

From the guide to the Gypsy Rose Lee papers, 1910-1970, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Lee, Gypsy Rose, 1914-1970. The naked genius, by Gypsy Rose Lee. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn The, Daily Worker, and, The Daily World, Photographs Collection, Bulk, 1930-1990, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
referencedIn Bernays, Edward L., 1891-1995. Edward L. Bernays papers, 1777-1994 (bulk 1920-1990). Library of Congress
referencedIn Will Rapport papers, 1931-1964. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Anita Arden scrapbooks, 1920-1996, 1938-1948 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Siegel, Arthur, 1923-1994. Arthur Siegel Papers 1938-1994 New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Davis, George, 1906-1957. Papers, 1929-1974 (bulk, 1935-1950). Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
referencedIn Styne, Jule, 1905-1994. Gypsy / music by Jule Styne ; lyrics by Stephen Sondheim ; book by Arthur Laurents ; suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, 2003. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Elisofon, Eliot. Papers, 1930-1988 (bulk, 1942-1973). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Arden, Anita, 1916-. Anita Arden scrapbooks, 1920-1996, 1938-1948. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Alexander Woollcott correspondence, ca. 1856-1943 (inclusive), 1920-1943 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn J. B. Matthews Papers, 1862-1986 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Lawrence and Lee papers, 1917-1974 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Lewis Gannett papers, 1681-1966 (inclusive) 1900-1960 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Levine, Jack, 1915-. Jack Levine papers, 1923-1999. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Armed Forces Radio Service. Command performance [sound recording]. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Anna Moskowitz Kross Papers MS 87., 1905-1974 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Styne, Jule, 1905-1994. Gypsy : a musical fable / music by Jule Styne ; lyrics by Stephen Sondheim ; book by Arthur Laurents ; suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, 2008. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn John Mason Brown papers, 1922-1967. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph). Gypsy : a musical fable / book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, suggested by memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee ; directed by Jackie Maxwell, 2005 - house program. University of Guelph
creatorOf Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph). Gypsy : A Musical Fable / book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, suggested by memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee ; directed by Jackie Maxwell, musical director Paul Sportelli, 2005 - poster. University of Guelph
referencedIn Kross, Anna M. (Anna Moscowitz), 1891-1979. Papers, 1905-1974. Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Edward L. Bernays Papers, 1777-1994, (bulk 1920-1990) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Lillian Gish papers, 1909-1992 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Gypsy Rose Lee scores, 1909-1967 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
referencedIn Jack Levine papers, 1923-1999 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
creatorOf Lee, Gypsy Rose, 1914-1970. Gypsy Rose Lee collection, 1941. Princeton University Library
creatorOf Gypsy Rose Lee papers, 1910-1970 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Charles H. McCaghy Collection of Exotic Dance From Burlesque to Clubs, 1868-2014 The Ohio State University. Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute.
referencedIn Bridaham, Lester Burbank. Lester Burbank Bridaham papers, 1912-1986. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph). Gypsy : a musical fable / book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, suggested by memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee ; directed by Jackie Maxwell, musical direction and orchestral adaptation by Paul Sportelli, 2005 - video. University of Guelph
creatorOf Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph). Gypsy : a musical fable / book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, suggested by memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee ; directed by Jackie Maxwell, musical direction and orchestral adaptation by Paul Sportelli, 2005 - performance files. University of Guelph
creatorOf Lee, Gypsy Rose, 1914-1970. Gypsy Rose Lee Archive, 1910-1970. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Swanson, Gloria. Papers. Series II. Career, ca. 1914-1983. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Arthur Siegel Papers, 1938-1994 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Actors' Equity Association corporateBody
associatedWith Adams, Cindy person
associatedWith Adams, Joey, 1911- person
associatedWith Aghayan, Ray person
associatedWith Albertson, Jack, 1910-1981 person
associatedWith Allen, Gracie, 1906-1964 person
associatedWith Allen, Steve, 1921- person
associatedWith American Broadcasting Company corporateBody
associatedWith Arden, Anita, 1916- person
associatedWith Armed Forces Radio Service. corporateBody
associatedWith Atkinson, Brooks, 1894- person
associatedWith Attenborough, Richard person
associatedWith Baddeley, Hermione, 1908- person
associatedWith Ballard, Kaye person
associatedWith Bankhead, Tallulah, 1902-1968 person
associatedWith Baxter, Les, 1922- person
associatedWith Beard, James, 1903- person
associatedWith Bearsly, Helen person
associatedWith Beaven, Frank person
associatedWith Benjamin, Richard, 1938- person
associatedWith Bennett, Tony, 1926- person
associatedWith Benny, Jack, 1894-1974 person
associatedWith Bergen, Edgar, 1903-1978 person
associatedWith Bernays, Edward L., 1891- person
correspondedWith Bernays, Edward L., 1891-1995. person
associatedWith Berns, Julie, 1900-1984 person
associatedWith Borgnine, Ernest, 1915- person
associatedWith Brean, Herbert person
associatedWith Brennan, Walter, 1894-1974 person
associatedWith Brice, Fanny person
associatedWith Bridaham, Lester Burbank. person
correspondedWith Brown, John Mason, 1900-1969 person
associatedWith Brown, Lew person
associatedWith Buck, Pearl S. (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973 person
associatedWith Buono, Victor person
associatedWith Burns, George, 1896- person
associatedWith Buttons, Helayne person
associatedWith Cabot, Sebastian, 1918-1977 person
associatedWith Caesar, Sid, 1922- person
associatedWith Caine, Michael person
associatedWith Capalbo, Carmen, 1925- person
associatedWith Carroll, Pat, 1927- person
associatedWith Casa Cugat (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Channing, Carol person
associatedWith Child, Julia person
associatedWith Clark, Dick, 1929- person
associatedWith Coburn, Charles, 1877-1961 person
associatedWith Coca, Imogene person
associatedWith Coconut Grove Playhouse (Miami, Fla.) corporateBody
associatedWith Coe, Roland, 1906-1954 person
associatedWith Collins, Pat, 1935- person
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Connery, Sean person
associatedWith Coward, Noel, 1899-1973 person
associatedWith Crane, Bob, 1929-1978 person
associatedWith Crawford, Cheryl, 1902-1986 person
associatedWith Cronkite, Walter person
associatedWith Crosby, Kathryn, 1933- person
associatedWith Crouse, Russel, 1893-1966 person
associatedWith Davis, Bette, 1908- person
associatedWith Davis, George, 1906-1957. person
associatedWith Deacon, Richard, 1922- person
associatedWith Dean, Jimmy person
associatedWith De Diego, Julio, 1900- person
associatedWith De Haven, Gloria, 1924- person
associatedWith Diller, Phyllis person
associatedWith Drutman, Irving person
associatedWith Dudley, Bide, 1877-1944 person
associatedWith Dulo, Jane person
associatedWith Dumont, Frank person
associatedWith Dunn, Michael, 1934-1973 person
associatedWith Durante, Jimmy person
associatedWith Elisofon, Eliot. person
associatedWith Fabray, Nanette person
associatedWith Fagan, Charles person
associatedWith Finch, Peter, 1916 Sept. 28- person
associatedWith Fischer-Plathen, Hede person
associatedWith Fisher, Eddie person
associatedWith Fitelson, H. William, 1905- person
associatedWith Flagg, Fannie person
associatedWith Fontaine, Joan, 1917- person
associatedWith Forbes, Bryan, 1926- person
associatedWith Ford Foundation corporateBody
associatedWith Funicello, Annette person
associatedWith Furness, Betty, 1916- person
correspondedWith Gannett, Lewis, 1891-1966 person
associatedWith Garland, Beverly, 1926? - person
associatedWith Garland, Judy person
associatedWith Gibson, Charles Dana, 1867-1944 person
associatedWith Gilbert, Edwin person
associatedWith Gish, Lillian, 1893-1993 person
associatedWith Gorme, Eydie person
associatedWith Grauer, Ben person
associatedWith Green, Abel, 1900- person
associatedWith Grimes, Tammy person
associatedWith Guerin, Judy person
associatedWith Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898- person
associatedWith Hauser, Alonzo, 1909- person
associatedWith Havoc, June person
associatedWith Haydn, Richard, 1905- person
associatedWith Head, Edith person
associatedWith Hendra, Tony person
associatedWith Hoffman, Irving, d. 1968 person
associatedWith Holm, Celeste, 1919- person
associatedWith Hopper, Hedda, 1890-1966 person
associatedWith Horner, Harry person
associatedWith Horton, Robert, 1924- person
associatedWith Howes, Sally Ann person
associatedWith Hunter, Ross person
associatedWith Hunter, Tab, 1931- person
associatedWith Ingels, Marty person
associatedWith Isenburg, Arnold person
associatedWith Jarvis, Lucy person
associatedWith Jessel, George Albert, 1898- person
associatedWith John, Mr person
associatedWith Johnson, Van, 1916- person
associatedWith Jones, Carolyn, 1929-1983 person
associatedWith Kaufman, George S. (George Simon), 1889-1961 person
associatedWith Kaye, Stubby, 1918- person
associatedWith Kazan, Lainie person
associatedWith Kenley Players (Warren, Oh.) corporateBody
associatedWith King, Margie person
associatedWith Kross, Anna Moscowitz, 1891-1979 person
associatedWith Kruger, Hardy, 1928- person
associatedWith Lane, Abbe, 1932- person
associatedWith Lasky, Floria V person
associatedWith Las Palmas Theatre (Los Angeles, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Lawrence, Jerome, 1915-2004 person
associatedWith Lawrence, Steve, 1935- person
associatedWith Lee, Lester, 1905-1956 person
associatedWith Leigh, Janet person
associatedWith Levine, Jack, 1915- person
associatedWith Lewis, Robert Q person
associatedWith Liberace, 1919- person
associatedWith Lupino, Ida, 1918- person
associatedWith Lynde, Paul person
associatedWith MacGrath, Leueen person
associatedWith Madam Rose's Dancing Daughters corporateBody
associatedWith Mantle, Burns, 1873-1948 person
associatedWith Mason, Pamela, 1918- person
associatedWith Matthews, J. B. (Joseph Brown), 1894-1966 person
associatedWith Mayfair Theatre (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith McCaghy, Charles H. person
associatedWith McHugh, Jimmy, 1894-1969 person
associatedWith Meadows, Jayne, 1926- person
associatedWith Merman, Ethel person
associatedWith Merrick, David, 1911- person
associatedWith Mills, Hayley person
associatedWith Minsky, Herbert, d. 1959 person
associatedWith Mizzy, Arnold person
associatedWith Mobley, Mary Ann person
associatedWith Moorehead, Agnes, 1906-1974 person
associatedWith Morris, William, 1899-1989 person
associatedWith Nathan, George Jean, 1882-1958 person
associatedWith Negro Actors Guild of America corporateBody
associatedWith Newman, Arnold, 1918- person
associatedWith Newman, Nanette person
associatedWith Northland Playhouse (Detroit, Mich) corporateBody
associatedWith Nye, Louis person
associatedWith O'Brien, Pat, 1899-1983 person
associatedWith Oliver, Susan, 1937- person
associatedWith O'Shea, Tessie person
associatedWith Paar, Jack person
associatedWith Palmer, Betsy person
associatedWith Parsons, Louella O. (Louella Oettinger), 1885-1973 person
associatedWith Polan, Barron, 1914- person
associatedWith Powers, Stefanie person
associatedWith Preminger, Erik Lee person
associatedWith Prentiss, Paula, 1939- person
associatedWith Prowse, Juliet, 1937- person
associatedWith Rae, Charlotte, 1926- person
associatedWith Ragland, Rags, 1905-1946 person
associatedWith Ralli, Giovanna, 1935- person
associatedWith Randall, Tony person
associatedWith Rand, Sally, 1904-1979 person
associatedWith Rapport, Will. person
associatedWith Ratia, Armi, 1912- person
associatedWith Reid, Don, b. 1914 person
associatedWith Reiner, Carl, 1922- person
associatedWith Rhue, Madlyn, 1934- person
associatedWith Rickles, Don, 1926- person
associatedWith Roberts, Meade, 1930-1992 person
associatedWith Rogers, Ginger, 1911- person
associatedWith Roman, Ruth, 1924- person
associatedWith Rome, Harold, 1908- person
associatedWith Rose, Billy, 1899-1966 person
associatedWith Rose Louise and Her Hollywood Blondes corporateBody
associatedWith Rowland, Betty person
associatedWith Sanders, Harland, 1890- person
associatedWith Schulz, Charles M person
associatedWith Seelen, Jerry, 1912- person
associatedWith Sharif, Omar, 1932- person
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Sidney, Sylvia person
associatedWith Siegel, Arthur, 1923-1994 person
associatedWith Sillman, Leonard person
associatedWith Smothers, Dick person
associatedWith Smothers, Tom person
associatedWith Sobel, Bernard, d. 1964 person
associatedWith Spelling, Aaron person
associatedWith Stander, Lionel person
associatedWith Staulcup, Keith Brian, photographer person
associatedWith Stevens, Ashton, 1872-1951 person
associatedWith Stevens, Inger, 1931-1970 person
associatedWith Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965 person
associatedWith Stewart, James, 1908- person
associatedWith Styne, Jule, 1905-1994. person
associatedWith Sullivan, Ed, 1902- person
associatedWith Susann, Jacqueline person
associatedWith Suzuki, Pat person
associatedWith Swanson, Gloria. person
associatedWith Tagliabue, John, 1923- person
associatedWith Tapia Theatre (San Juan, P. R.) corporateBody
associatedWith Temple, Shirley, 1928- person
associatedWith Thompson, Maravene person
associatedWith Thompson, Rose person
associatedWith Todd, Michael, 1909-1958 person
associatedWith Torme, Mel, 1925- person
associatedWith Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation corporateBody
associatedWith Ullett, Nick person
associatedWith United Service Organizations (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Untermeyer, Louis, 1885-1977 person
associatedWith Vallee, Rudy, 1901- person
associatedWith Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950 person
associatedWith Van Doren, Jean, d. 1945 person
associatedWith Verrill, Dorothy person
associatedWith Wagner, Robert F. (Robert Ferdinand), 1910- person
associatedWith Warhol, Andy, 1928- person
associatedWith Waters, Ethel, 1896-1977 person
associatedWith Weidman, Jerome, 1913- person
associatedWith Wheelock, Dorothy person
associatedWith Wilde, Cornel, 1915- person
associatedWith Wilkes Theatre (Seattle, Wash.) corporateBody
associatedWith Wilson, Elizabeth person
associatedWith Winchell, Walter, 1897-1972 person
associatedWith Winters, Jonathan person
associatedWith Withers, Jane, 1926- person
associatedWith Wolfe, Tom person
correspondedWith Woollcott, Alexander, 1887-1943 person
associatedWith Wyatt, Jane, 1912- person
associatedWith Wyman, Jane, 1914- person
associatedWith Youngman, Henny person
associatedWith Ziman, Edmund person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)--New York
Subject
Costume construction
Detective and mystery stories, American--20th century
Motion picture actors and actresses
Stripteasers--Fiction
Actresses--United States--Portraits
Women detectives--Fiction
Women television personalities
Striptease
Dressmaking
Fabric swatches
Women entertainers
Drama (American)
Burlesque (Theater)
Television talk shows
Gardening
Gardens--Design
Music-halls (Variety-theaters, cabarets, etc.)
Interior decoration
Vaudeville
Burlesques
Burlesque (Theater)--Fiction
Authors and publishers--20th century--Correspondence
Occupation
Performer
Function

Person

Birth 1914-01-09

Death 1970-04-26

Female

Americans

English

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6bc4tgf

Ark ID: w6bc4tgf

SNAC ID: 4524905