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    (February 1, 1906-July 29, 2005)
    Born in Adell, Wisconsin
    Birth name was Hildegarde Loretta Sell
    Trained at Marquette University's College of Music
    Nickname, given to her by publicist Seaman Jacobs and made famous by Walter Winchell, was 'The Incomparable Hildegarde'
    Cabaret singer and pianist, recorded the songs 'Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup,' 'I'll Be Seeing You,' 'The Last Time I Saw Paris' and 'Lili Marlene'
    Host of the 1940s top-ranking American radio show Hildegarde's Raleigh Room
    Wrote the 1961 autobiography, 'Over 50 .... So What!'
    Presented an award by Eleanor Roosevelt proclaiming her the First Lady of the Supper Clubs (1961)
    Performed in the 1970s with the Stephen Sondheim Musical 'Follies'
    Died in New York City of natural causes at age 99
    She didn't just go by a pretentious single name; she invented the genre.
    Though born, raised and a lifelong resident of the U.S., she spoke with a slight but noticable German accent.
    Her trademark was long opera gloves that she wore not just when singing but playing piano as well.
    In 1955 she dumped her lover, business partner and writer of her signature song, Anna Sosenko, as 'an inevitable result of 20 years' close collaboration.'
    She famously said before one show, 'I pray to St Jude while having my skin treatment that he'll make the preparations work but I'm not a health crank. I can drink vodka and tonic with the best of them.'
    While attending St. John's High School a priest advised her to drop her desire to become a nun, implying 'it would be a sin not to use my talent.'
    Irving Berlin and George and Ira Gershwin wrote songs for her, and she was friends with Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hammerstein.
    Her famed admirers included King Gustav VI of Sweden, the Duke of Windsor and she sang at the Duke of Kent's wedding and King George VI's coronation.
    Revlon invented a shade of lipstick and nail polish and named it Hildegarde.
    Liberace deeply respected her, incorporated "I'll Be Seeing You' into his act and stated, 'I used to absorb all the things she was doing, all the showmanship she created. It was marvelous to watch her.'
    Later in life she reconciled with Sosenko, not as lovers but as friends, saying, 'Ridiculous not to at our ages.'
    She regularly handed out long stem roses to audience members during her performances.
    As a former vaudevillian she had a sense of humor, and during a 1993 performance said, 'Wrinkle, wrinkle, leave me alone. Go and sliver Sharon Stone.'

Credit: Scar Tactics

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