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'Gypsy' Original Is Dead Aged 97

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'Gypsy' Original Is Dead Aged 97#1
Posted: 3/29/10 at 4:26pm
'Gypsy' Original Is Dead Aged 97
'Gypsy' Original Is Dead Aged 97

Actress and writer June Havoc, whose childhood in vaudeville as Baby June
was immortalized in the Broadway musical 'Gypsy', has died in Connecticut at age 97.

June Havoc, the younger sister of famed stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, died Sunday of
natural causes at her home in Stamford.
While she never reached the fame of her sister, Havoc had a varied,
successful theater career that stretched from 1918 into the next century.
With music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Arthur
Laurents, 'Gypsy' is considered one of the best musicals ever written.
The original 1959 production starred Ethel Merman, and it has been revived
several times since. It also became a 1962 movie starring Rosalind Russell,
with Natalie Wood as the grown-up Gypsy.
It focuses on the archetypal stage mother, Mama Rose, who ferociously pushes
her daughter 'Baby June' into vaudeville stardom at age 6 while her older sister struggles to compete.
The musical was based on a memoir of the older daughter, Louise, who grew up to
be Gypsy Rose Lee. Havoc made no effort to obstruct the show, though she
detested it.
'It meant so much to Gypsy, her precious illusion; it made her into an
ingenue at last,' Havoc remarked bitterly in 1998. 'And I loved my sister,
but I loathed her life.'

She defended Mama Rose: 'Mother was very prim, and she was tiny and lovely
with big blue eyes. ... She was endearing and alluring beyond belief. If she
had drive and ambition, what's wrong with that?'

Havoc was born June Hovick on Nov. 8, 1912, in Seattle. (Some sources give
other years, but Havoc herself specified that date in 2006.)
Her mother, who had an unhappy marriage, plotted an escape. Her second
daughter, June, was cute and outgoing, and at 18 months she was dancing in
vaudeville and appearing in movie comedy shorts.
'I earned $1,500 a week when I was 6, and I knew exactly how I got the
laughs and applause,' she said in 1978.
Mama Rose kept June in vaudeville until she was far beyond her baby
cuteness. Frustrated and weary of constant travel, June escaped at 13 by
marrying a boy in the act. She gave birth to a daughter, April Hyde Kent,
and later divorced. She was married 3 times.

In 1963, Havoc wrote and directed a Broadway play about her experience,
'Marathon 33,' earning a Tony nomination as best director. Julie Harris,
starring as a young vaudevillian named June, also picked up a Tony
nomination.
Havoc wrote three other plays and two memoirs, 'Early Havoc' (1959) and
'More Havoc' (1980).

By 1936, she had evolved into a statuesque blond beauty, and she began
appearing in Broadway plays and musicals. In 1940, Havoc portrayed the
conniving Gladys Bumps in Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's 'Pal Joey' and
her performance brought Hollywood offers.
She played feature roles in 26 films.

Havoc's major work was on the stage. She appeared in more than a dozen
productions on Broadway, including Cole Porter's 'Mexican Hayride' (1944)
and 'Sadie Thompson' (also 1944).

Her last Broadway appearance was in the early 1980s, one of the
many replacements as the evil Miss Hannigan in 'Annie'.



'Gypsy' Original Is Dead Aged 97
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'Gypsy' Original Is Dead Aged 97#2
Posted: 3/29/10 at 5:44pm
now, don't no this actress, but that is a bloody good innings.
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'Gypsy' Original Is Dead Aged 97#2
Posted: 3/29/10 at 6:36pm
I met her a few years ago in a Palm Springs restaurant. She still looked old-school Hollywood glamorous and she must have been 94 or so. She was very sweet and commented on how smartly dressed I was.
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'Gypsy' Original Is Dead Aged 97#3
Posted: 3/29/10 at 6:41pm
She went blind 10 years ago!
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'Gypsy' Original Is Dead Aged 97#4
Posted: 3/29/10 at 6:56pm
She obviously felt my aura!
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'Gypsy' Original Is Dead Aged 97#5
Posted: 3/29/10 at 6:58pm
lol
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'Gypsy' Original Is Dead Aged 97#6
Posted: 3/29/10 at 6:59pm
June Havoc also toured as Mrs. Lovett in the U.S. national company of SWEENEY TODD.

I love that the costumes those boys are wearing in Mama's picture were perfectly copied for Baby June's "Broadway" number in GYPSY.
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'Gypsy' Original Is Dead Aged 97#7
Posted: 3/29/10 at 7:02pm
She had a trend for being cast as mad women then!!!
Updated On: 3/29/10 at 07:02 PM
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'Gypsy' Original Is Dead Aged 97#8
Posted: 3/29/10 at 7:08pm
I would have loved to see her Lovett.
How strange that the obit I posted didn't include such an important role?

Tour opened on February 23, 1982 at the Playhouse Theatre, Wilmington, Delaware
Closed on July 17, 1982 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto, Canada
Presented by Tom Mallow, in association with James Janek
Directed by Harold Prince
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'Gypsy' Original Is Dead Aged 97#9
Posted: 3/29/10 at 8:50pm
Another role she played in the 1980's was Miss Hannigan in ANNIE. The SWEENEY TODD tour she did was a bus and truck which must have been rough for a woman of her years.
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