Goddess of Love Incarnate: The Life of Stripteuse Lili St. Cyr.

Goddess of Love Incarnate: The Life of Stripteuse Lili St. Cyr.

Leslie Zemeckis

Language: English

Pages: 400

ISBN: 161902568X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Lili St. Cyr was, in the words of legendary reporter Mike Wallace, the “highest paid stripteaser in America.” Wallace was so fascinated by Lili that out of all the presidents and celebrities he interviewed over a long career, she was the one he remained fixated on. Her beauty had that kind of effect.

Lili led an incredible life—six marriages, romances with Orson Wells, Yul Brenner, Vic Damone, arrests on indecency charges, a number of suicide attempts —all alongside great fame and money. A bigger star than Gypsy Rose Lee, Lili was named one of the world’s ten most beautiful women alongside Ava Gardner and Brigitte Bardot. Yet she lost it all, becoming a recluse in her final decades.

Goddess of Love Incarnate is the definitive biography of this legendary figure, done with the cooperation of Lili’s only surviving sister. But the book does more than fascinate readers with stories of a byone era; it reveals that behind the g-strings and the pasties stood a “complicated, eccentric, brilliant” woman, much loved and little understood. As an award winning documentary filmmaker and writer, Leslie Zemeckis restores Lili to her rightful place in American history in a way no other writer could.

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and Dan Sonney had approached her with the idea. “So everyone can see what they missed at Ciro’s. It’ll be a hit!” IT WASN’T SUCH HARD WORK AND NO WAY WAS SHE TURNING DOWN that amount of money. Though quicker than shooting a feature-length film, the process was still tedious, Lili standing under the hot lights waiting for cameras to be reloaded or lights adjusted. There was constant powdering; her makeup seemed to drip off her face. She did like the exposure the short film promised to bring.

night, August 23, during dinner (as Bruno and a few reporters just happened to be in the Chuck Wagon buffet of the El Rancho), Derek and Lili huddled together eating. Ted arrived and sat with them. Soon thereafter, Ted theatrically and loudly jumped to his feet and shouted, “Hey, nobody talks about my wife like that.”724 Even the line sounded like that of a badly written script. Goodman—playing in the same bad B movie—twirled his mustache and shouted back, “Perhaps you’re right . . . but if she

THOUGH SHE FANTASIZED ABOUT BEING THE NEXT GARBO, SHE TOOK no steps, no training, no sending of photos to theatrical producers or agents, nothing to get her closer to Hollywood. She didn’t believe she had the talent to act, or, quite frankly, for anything. But like a girl in an orphanage named Norma Jean, she knew she could dream bigger than most. Lili was not going to spend her life like Idella, breeding too many kids, with men that left, days a constant struggle of housework. Nor would she be

Detroit Tigers’ power hitter and first baseman. Greenberg would become a five-time All-Star. In 1946 he had married Caral Gimbel of the Gimbel department store fortune, whom he met through Marx. Beautiful bride, proud groom, and a stunning maid of honor AT 5:00 P.M. AT ALL SOULS EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN BELLE ISLE, SOUTH Beach, Miami, a happy and gorgeous Barbara strode down the aisle with her elegantly dressed and almost three-decades-older groom. She walked on the arm of Louis’s brother David.

creep back there and check on him? Poor pathetic Lorenzo. Once so handsome. Now nearly crippled. Maybe someone would bring her junk soon. Bring them junk and they could float together. That might be nice. There was little they did together besides share a needle. CHAPTER TEN Dardy Orlando’s debut in Canada was a rousing success. Al Palmer praised her beauty, noting she was “one of four sisters” in the show business family. Lili might have confided in him, something she rarely did, but she was

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