Tuesday, January 30, 2007
LIZ RENAY Passes On..
Who the HELL is Liz Renay?.. And why would you care, Rich?!
Fair question. But close friends already know that I have a perverse preoccupation with the subject of 50's-era Burlesque/Striptease.. And though most of today's obits have highlighted Ms. Renay's erratic movie-acting career.. She began her ShowBiz career in the late 40's, as an Exotic Dancer named: Liz O'Leyar!
"Liz O'Leyar" was her stage name. But she was born Pearl Elizabeth Dobbins on April 14, 1926; in Chandler, Arizona. By all accounts, she was a Star Performer throughout most of the 1950's.. Appearing onstage, mainly in the NYC nightclubs along "Strip Alley", on notorious 52nd Street. Though she acted in many cult B-movies thru the 60's.. She would return to Striptease again in the mid-70's, headlining at many L.A. & Hollywood nightclubs & theatres.. Even performing (for a time) with her own daughter: Brenda!
By the sound of it, she led a pretty full & interesting life..
She was something of a serial nymphomaniac.. She married 7 times (Just like her Grandma!).. And wrote 3 books, one of which was entitled: 'My First 2,000 Men'.. A tell-all catalogue of her many sexual conquests?
Early on, she must've had a thing for "GoodFellas", too!
In 1958, the N.Y. State district attorney hauled Liz into court, for questioning.. Albert Anastasia, the leader of the 'Murder Incorporated' crime gang, was ruthlessly gunned down in a NYC barbershop.. By unfortunate coincidence, Ms. Renay just happened to be dating Anastasia's main bodyguard at the time: Anthony "Cappy" Coppola.
Throughout, she had also secretly been dating L.A.'s reputed mob kingpin: Mickey Cohen. Reportedly, she had been laundering some of Cohen's crime money, in NYC. By the early 60's, she'd been caught lying about these details under oath. Was convicted of Perjury. And served 27 months of a 3-Year term, at the 'Terminal Island' Federal Prison for women..
By the early 1980's, she'd finally retired from ShowBiz & moved to Las Vegas.. Where she died last Monday, at the age of 80.