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I grew up in a New York boarding house so celebrities were always passing through, but to me they were just regular people-like Robert Ripley. I was used to sword swallowers and glass eaters.
Once though on my lunch break, I went to a department store. There was a lot of activitiy going on because Gypsy Rose Lee was there. I thought she was an author for a book signing or something.
I had done modeling and someone from the store approached and asked if I could model, since one of the regulars hadn't shown.
I put on the bathing suit and did the modeling. As I was walking I heard, "Take it off. Take it all off." I slipped the strap off the shoulder and winked. I got a lot of modeling jobs after that.
I later learned who Gypsy Rose Lee was-the queen of burlesque-and it was she who called to me.
I've also met Maria von Trapp, dated Nick the Greek, heard Jane Frohman play piano, asked Joseph Cotton where the bathroom was, discussed chickens with Peggy Lee and gave Burt Reynolds the finger.