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June Havoc obituary

30 March 2010 10:53 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Hollywood and Broadway star whose family life inspired the musical Gypsy

Those who know the gorgeously gaudy Jule Styne/Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical Gypsy (1959) will remember the refrain of "my name is June, what's yours?" addressed to the audience by the curly-haired child performer. "Baby" June was based on June Havoc, who has died aged 97, and the show was inspired by her early days in Us vaudeville with her "monstrous" stage mother and older sister Rose Louise, who became Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous stripper.

"I think Gypsy was one of the most smashing shows I've seen in my life," Havoc once told me. "But very little to do with fact. My mother was not such a monster. Few parents who had a child who, at the age of two, stood on her toes and danced every time she heard music, could resist putting her forward. Particularly if the child was happy doing it. »

- Ronald Bergan

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