Gypsy Rose Lee had the perfect solution for sweatiness and temperature control. She became one of the world’s most famous strippers. Ah, imagine just throwing off those clothes, cooling down and getting paid for it! She was definitely on to something.
Lee brought a sharp sense of humor into her act (and based on the quotation above, maintained it long afterwards). She became famous for developing a more casual ‘tease’ that was both elegant and artful and everyone ate it up, including her lovers Michael Todd (one of Elizabeth Taylor’s 7 husbands) and Otto Preminger with whom she had a son.
Her 1957 memoir was adapted into the stage musical and film Gypsy. Keeping busy even after she hung up what few clothes she did wear, she amassed an impressive art collection by Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, and Dorothea Tanning, all reportedly given to her by the artists themselves. Ernst's Portrait of Gypsy Rose Lee became the most expensive of his works ever sold at auction.