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Rose Hovick
(August 31, 1898 - 1954) U.S.A.

Rose Hovick

Mother of Gypsy Rose Lee<


Rose (or Mama Rose, as she is best known), who was Jewish and lesbian, had married John Hovick, a newspaperman, at the age of fifteen, and was the classic example of a smothering stage mothe who insistently pushed her two daughters into stardom: stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and actress June Havoc; Gypsy's story about lives of the three women became the a 1959 hit musical, Gypsy: A Musical Fable.

Rose was no longer bothering with men. She had, as Havoc would write, 'turned toward her own sex,' at first runing a lesbian boardinghouse in a 10-room apartment Gypsy rented for her on West End Avenue, and then running a sort of lesbian farm in her country house in Highland Hills. At a party in that house, Rose pulled another gun, this time on one of the girls. She killed her. Because Gypsy was a star, it was covered up. "There were a lot of people there when it happened". says Erik Preminger [Gypsy's son], who had heard the same story from three people. "The girl was Rose's lover and she made a pass at my mother."

Gypsy Rose Lee, her daughter, born around 1910 and died from cancer in 1970. The only living Hovick was June Havoc (nee Hovick), her other dauther, who was born in around 1915.


Quote and photo source: Jacobs, L. Taking It All Off, Vanity Fair, March 2003

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