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Edith Massey


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Edith Massey (May 25, 1918 - October 24, 1984) was an American actress.

Edith grew up in an orphanage in Denver, Colorado and later absconded to Los Angeles, California in an attempt to start a career in show business. She was an extra in the 1940 film Arise, My Love. Director John Waters met Edith while she was working as a bartender at Pete’s Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. While living in Baltimore, Edith opened up a thrift store called Edith’s Shopping Bag. She starred in five John Waters films: Multiple Maniacs (1970), Pink Flamingos (1972), Female Trouble (1974), Desperate Living (1977), and Polyester (1981). In the late-1970s and early-1980s, Massey capitalized on the infamy of Waters’ films by touring as the lead singer of a punk band, (Edie and the Eggs). She also posed for a series of greeting cards. Later, when the Baltimore winters became too much for her to endure, she moved to Venice, California, where she opened another thrift store. During the year of her death, Edith starred in the film Mutants in Paradise. She died in 1984 of cancer-related illness and was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Director Robert Maier made a documentary short about her in 1975 entitled Love Letter to Edie.


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