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Adah Isaacs Menken
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    (June 15, 1835-August 10, 1868)
    Birth name was Adah Bertha Theodore
    Acted in plays 'Mazeppa' and 'Hamlet'
    She was a habitual liar and a publicity whore.
    She was divorced three times.
    She may have committed bigamy.
    She often portrayed male parts onstage.
    Her first husband divorced her because she was a smoker.
    She had many affairs while married, including one with Alexandre Dumas, Sr. and Jr. – at the same time!
    She appeared in black face several times.
    She squandered most of her earnings on partying, clothes and bling-bling.
    Her father died when she was very young.
    She had to hide her black ancestry, which is why she lied often about her background.
    She converted to Judaism and fought against anti-semitism.
    Husband #2 was a boxer who beat her often.
    Both of her sons died in infancy.
    She was one of the first women entertainers to cut her hair short.
    She had a beautiful body and loved showing it off in sexy clothes.
    She wore flesh-colored body suits, making her appear nude onstage.
    Her plays were always well-attended events.
    She died poor and much too young from tuberculosis and peritonitis.
    She was the theatre world's 'bad girl.'

Credit: Xer

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