June Havoc, the film and theater actress who gained fame as a child vaudeville star and the younger sister of Gypsy Rose Lee, died yesterday. The inspiration for the "Baby June" character in the Broadway musical and movie Gypsy, Havoc was believed to be 97. To accommodate local child labor laws while on the road performing, her mother, the archetypal stage mother Rose Thompson Hovick, had five birth certificates for her, the New York Times reports.
Though outshone by her fictional doppelganger, Havoc enjoyed a long career, shining in the original production of Pal Joey on Broadway and as the Jewish secretary "passing" as a Christian in the Gregory Peck film Gentleman's Agreement. In her late 60s, she played Miss Hannigan in the original Broadway production of Annie. She retired in 1990 after a stint on General Hospital.
(Read more June Havoc stories.)