Blonde along w Huntington West Virginia

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Click isupportlocal for more information on supporting our local journalists. Dagmar has booked another gig -- nearly 10 years after her death. The voluptuous television pioneer will star in "Dagmar, Guyandotte Gal, Goes Hollywood" from 6 to 8 p. Friday, Sept. Organizers and friends will discuss her life and their memories of her, interspersed with film clips of her many TV appearances. Admission is free, and refreshments will be served. Dagmar was born Virginia Ruth Egnor on Nov. She attended public schools here - where she called herself Ruthie because it was easier to spell -- and Huntington Business School.

To pay for dancing lessons, she worked in a loan office briefly and at Walgreen's Drug Store as a cashier, waitress, maker of sandwiches and soda jerk. First, she was married Angelo Lewis, a Naval officer stationed at the Navy Ferry Command on Long Island, briefly inThen, adopting "Jennie Lewis" as her stage name, she worked as a fashion photographer's model.

Inother models encouraged her to audition for comedians Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson.

Blonde along w Huntington West Virginia

Although she had no show business experience, she was cast as whistlebait in their Broadway musical revue, Laffing Room Only, a Shubert production at the Winter Garden Theatre, from December to July As a chorus girl named "Bubbles," she appeared with Bert Lahr in the Broadway comedy Burlesque, which ran for performances from December to January Writer Lou Meltzer renamed her "Dagmar" after a queen in Denmark or as a tip of the hat to a character on the television show "Mama," depending on who you ask.

Lester instructed her to wear low-cut gowns, sit on stools and play the role of a stereotypical dumb blonde while reading poetry and sharing the spotlight with Lester, Morey Amsterdam and Jack E. For example, Lester would ask her where she was from, and she would respond, "West Virginia.

Blonde along w Huntington West Virginia

She sprinkled her comedy with wacky definitions, too. In Dagmarspeak, "mushroom" was a place to make love and "isolate" was to admit that you're always tardy. Aided by her statuesque figure and quick-witted humor, Dagmar's dim-bulb character was an immediate success, soon attracting more attention than Lester, especially among young male viewers - which eventually made him so jealous that he walked off his own show. Dagmar became one of the leading personalities of early s live television, appearing with Frank Sinatra and doing sketch comedy on Milton Berle's Texaco Star Theatre and Bob Hope specials.

Writer Jean Estes and photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt did a cover story and photo spread of her for the July 16,issue of Life magazine, which included shoots during her rehearsals and a vacation back to Huntington to buy a new home for her parents. She hosted the short-lived, prime time Dagmar's Canteen, in which she sang, danced, interviewed servicemen and performed comedy routines. Afterward, she performed in Las Vegas shows and summer stock theater and made occasional guest appearances on such shows as "What's My Line? For years, her popularity knew no bounds. Liberace said she had given him his big break as her accompanist.

Several automobiles in the '50s featured chrome bullet-point bulges on their front bumpers called "Dagmar bumpers. Her personal life was marked by disappointment. In failing health after years on the nightclub, fair and parade circuits, she moved back to Ceredo, W. Dagmar was elected to the Greater Huntington Wall of Fame in Several show business people, including Berle, Hope and former Huntingtonian Soupy Sales, submitted letters of support. Keep it Clean.

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Blonde along w Huntington West Virginia

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Blonde along w Huntington West Virginia

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Blonde along w Huntington West Virginia

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Blonde along w Huntington West Virginia

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