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Lillian Russell
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    (December 4, 1860-June 6, 1922)
    Born in Clinton, Iowa
    Birth name was Helen Louise Leonard
    Appeared in Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Patience' and 'The Sorcerer,' Jacques Offenbach's 'The Princess of Trebizonde' and the vaudeville vehicles 'Whoop-De-Doo' and 'Hokey Pokey'
    Despite being from Iowa, she was billed as an English ballad singer for her Broadway debut.
    She traveled to England to star in the debut of Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Princess Ida,' but was fired by Sullivan after missing rehearsals (1894).
    Her second marriage was bigamous, since Edward Solomon had not bothered to get a divorce before marrying her.
    Her third marriage was to a gay opera singer, Giovanni Perugini.
    She shocked New York when she appeared on stage in men's clothing and smoking.
    She was America's leading stage star of the Gay Nineties.
    She was known for her hourglass figure.
    She left Perugini after two months when he threatened to throw her out a window.
    She marched for women's suffrage.
    During World War I, she raised money for the war effort and recruited for the Marine Corps.

Credit: C. Fishel

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