June Havoc Biography (1913-2010)

The sister of the notorious stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, with whom she was driven into performance by an ambitious stage mother, began playing bits in silent film shorts at age two, eventually appearing in 24 Hal Roach comedies. She was earning $1500 a week as a vaudeville headliner by the time she was five. At age 13, she married the first of three husbands, and in her late teens, during the Depression and the demise of vaudeville, she modeled and participated in dance marathons (she still holds a record for marathon dancing in 1933), then went on to perform in Catskill Mountain resorts and in stock. In 1936 she made her Broadway debut. Four years later, she scored a big success in the 1940 production of Pal Joey, after which she was invited to Hollywood. She debuted onscreen as an adult in 1941, and over the next decade played leads and second leads in many films. However, Havoc never became a top star and found herself cast in routine films; she rarely appeared onscreen after 1952. Her stage work was more successful, and in 1944 she won a Donaldson Award for Mexican Hayride; she also did much work on TV. She wrote and directed the autobiographical Broadway play Marathon 33 (1963), and authored an autobiography, Early Havoc (1959). She was portrayed as a juvenile stage performer in the Broadway show Gypsy  and its screen version. She married actor- William Spier.

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