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JIM BAILEY

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Just read very sad news from Lucie that the amazing female impressionist, Jim Bailey has passed away.

 

Details to follow.

 

 

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This news has still not yet broken officially in the media, very surprised at that even if he hadn't really been in the national spotlight since the mid 1970's.  If it weren't coming from Lucie, I'd be hesistant to acknowledge it but obviously it must be true and is sad.  Jim Bailey I think was the first "female impersonator" I ever heard of and of course it was via Here's Lucy (yes I'd probably seen actors in drag but it would have been something like Max Baer as Jetherine or Some Like it Hot, not an "illusionist".)  I was 8 or 9 back then and it was pretty startling to see a guy who could play a girl on a show and it not be a jokey thing. 

 

How incredible he apparently died the day Catilyn Jenner made her debut, not the same vein of "t" but transgender nonetheless.  RIP Jim. 

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I just checked and still no reports from the media. So sad, I hope he gets the recognition and tributes he deserves soon.

That's the thing these days, if you are not well known, nobody finds out anything about you in the end, so sad.  And i also googled him and found he had two different years for his birth.  Still much too young though.

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Remember the days when we only had newspapers and network news?  You'd hear that someone like Bennett Cerf died; and you figured they were wrong because he kept showing up on the What's My Line panel nearly a year later.   Same with Cliff Arquette/Charley Weaver on Hollywood Squares.  They taped those 5-day a week game shows quite far in advance.

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Remember the days when we only had newspapers and network news?  You'd hear that someone like Bennett Cerf died; and you figured they were wrong because he kept showing up on the What's My Line panel nearly a year later.   Same with Cliff Arquette/Charley Weaver on Hollywood Squares.  They taped those 5-day a week game shows quite far in advance.

True, forgot about that.  And remember how the ratings would surge for anything like Chico and the man's Freddie Prinze's death and the last show he had filmed?

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They put his age at 77, which would have made him roughly 34 at the time of Here's Lucy. 

His bio says he was in the "Wildcat" tour with Gale Storm, which was the early 60s.  Jim would have been in his middle 20s.

If he was born in 1949 as his official bio states, that would have made him a teen in Wildcat.  I don't think there were any roles for that age range in Wildcat.

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Unfortunately, there's so much news out every day, it would make sense if his death wasn't in any headlines. With Caitlyn Jenner, Kim's new baby, etc, etc, I could see this being a sub-heading. Lauren Bacall died the day after Robin Williams, which totally overshadowed her. Jim was a very talented entertainer. I haven't seen too much of his stuff besides HL, but I can say he knew what he was doing.

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What is with all the age discrepancies?

You have no idea how much younger he became since Sidney Kaiser came into the room.

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Jim Bailey, Impersonator of Hollywood’s Female Icons, Dies at 77

thr-logo-082710_052641.png

 

Jim Bailey, a self-proclaimed “character actor” who did spot-on re-creations of such iconic female entertainers as Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand and Peggy Lee, has died. He was 77.

 

Bailey died Saturday of cardiac arrest from pneumonia complications at Pacifica Hospital of the Valley in Sun Valley, Calif., his manager of 27 years, Stephen Campbell, told The Hollywood Reporter. "Heaven is getting a fabulous show tonight with standing room only! Rest in Peace Our Sweet Prince," reads a statement on Bailey's website. 

 

A native of West Philadelphia, Bailey performed in nightclubs around the world and in such celebrated venues as the Palladium in London, Carnegie Hall in New York and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. He was a regular in Las Vegas for years, did a Streisand tribute at halftime of the 1978 Super Bowl and put out three albums. At age 11, Bailey entered and won his school’s talent contest, singing “You Made Me Love You,” one of the first songs Garland sang when she was a child star.

 

He later attended the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music and studied opera, then headed to New York City. “I did jazz clubs in Greenwich Village, went on the Playboy circuit, that sort of thing. I wasn’t doing badly, but I needed that gimmick, something to make me different, unique,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer in a 1995 interview. 

 

His first impression was of comedienne Phyllis Diller, whom he was introduced to in the late 1960s, and he hit pay dirt after he heard Garland on the radio and decided to impersonate her. When Garland came to see Bailey's show, she jumped on the stage and asked him to sing a song with her: "Bye, Bye Blackbird." She became his mentor, and Bailey landed a gig on CBS’ The Ed Sullivan Show, dressed and made up as Garland and singing like her. After that performance, the Las Vegas hotels came calling. 

 

The showman also guest starred on The Carol Burnett Show, where he and Burnett sang “Happy Days Are Here Again” with Bailey appearing as Streisand. And he played Diller (complete with her crooked smile and signature cigarette holder) opposite Lucille Ball on a memorable 1972 installment of Here’s Lucy. 

 

In 1973, Bailey teamed with Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli at The Flamingo in Las Vegas to re-create performances by her and her late mother in London. He and Minnelli became great friends. “He becomes these singers to a degree that defies disbelief, and he's an uncanny and as classy an act as you could hope to find,” the London Times once said of him. Wrote the Boston Globe, “If he were to appear at Madison Square Garden instead of Barbra, who could possibly tell the difference.”  Three hours of preparation were required for each of his full-length concerts, so he could only do one impersonation for each show.  “It’s my job to make people believe they’re seeing and hearing Judy Garland,” he said in the Inquirer interview. “Convince them that I’m Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, take the audience on a magical trip.” 

 

On a 1985 episode of the NBC sitcom Night Court, Bailey played a college friend (Chip/Charlene) of John Larroquette’s character who had undergone a sex change. He also appeared on What’s My Line?, The Rockford Files, Vega$, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Late Night With David Letterman and Ally McBeal. 

 

In addition to Campbell, survivors include his brother, Claude. Twitter: @mikebarnes4 1 p.m. June 2: Updated with details of death.

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P.s. this has bugged/puzzled me for years but it's brought to light again with Brock's wundaful new lounge masthead honoring the late Jim Bailey, it's certainly highlighted herein: why oh why was he made up to appear green-faced??? It looks so weird and makes no sense, at least in the context of his appearance in the episode!  Any idea anyone? Anyone?

Bueller? Or should I say....James (Sheridan, that is! :))

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Jim Bailey, Impersonator of Hollywood’s Female Icons, Dies at 77

thr-logo-082710_052641.png

 

Jim Bailey, a self-proclaimed “character actor” who did spot-on re-creations of such iconic female entertainers as Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand and Peggy Lee, has died. He was 77.

 

Bailey died Saturday of cardiac arrest from pneumonia complications at Pacifica Hospital of the Valley in Sun Valley, Calif., his manager of 27 years, Stephen Campbell, told The Hollywood Reporter. "Heaven is getting a fabulous show tonight with standing room only! Rest in Peace Our Sweet Prince," reads a statement on Bailey's website. 

 

A native of West Philadelphia, Bailey performed in nightclubs around the world and in such celebrated venues as the Palladium in London, Carnegie Hall in New York and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. He was a regular in Las Vegas for years, did a Streisand tribute at halftime of the 1978 Super Bowl and put out three albums. At age 11, Bailey entered and won his school’s talent contest, singing “You Made Me Love You,” one of the first songs Garland sang when she was a child star.

 

He later attended the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music and studied opera, then headed to New York City. “I did jazz clubs in Greenwich Village, went on the Playboy circuit, that sort of thing. I wasn’t doing badly, but I needed that gimmick, something to make me different, unique,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer in a 1995 interview. 

 

His first impression was of comedienne Phyllis Diller, whom he was introduced to in the late 1960s, and he hit pay dirt after he heard Garland on the radio and decided to impersonate her. When Garland came to see Bailey's show, she jumped on the stage and asked him to sing a song with her: "Bye, Bye Blackbird." She became his mentor, and Bailey landed a gig on CBS’ The Ed Sullivan Show, dressed and made up as Garland and singing like her. After that performance, the Las Vegas hotels came calling. 

 

The showman also guest starred on The Carol Burnett Show, where he and Burnett sang “Happy Days Are Here Again” with Bailey appearing as Streisand. And he played Diller (complete with her crooked smile and signature cigarette holder) opposite Lucille Ball on a memorable 1972 installment of Here’s Lucy. 

 

In 1973, Bailey teamed with Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli at The Flamingo in Las Vegas to re-create performances by her and her late mother in London. He and Minnelli became great friends. “He becomes these singers to a degree that defies disbelief, and he's an uncanny and as classy an act as you could hope to find,” the London Times once said of him. Wrote the Boston Globe, “If he were to appear at Madison Square Garden instead of Barbra, who could possibly tell the difference.”  Three hours of preparation were required for each of his full-length concerts, so he could only do one impersonation for each show.  “It’s my job to make people believe they’re seeing and hearing Judy Garland,” he said in the Inquirer interview. “Convince them that I’m Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, take the audience on a magical trip.” 

 

On a 1985 episode of the NBC sitcom Night Court, Bailey played a college friend (Chip/Charlene) of John Larroquette’s character who had undergone a sex change. He also appeared on What’s My Line?, The Rockford Files, Vega$, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Late Night With David Letterman and Ally McBeal. 

 

In addition to Campbell, survivors include his brother, Claude. Twitter: @mikebarnes4 1 p.m. June 2: Updated with details of death.

 

NOW THAT'S A BIO!

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What is with all the age discrepancies?

 

I found it hard to believe he was born in 1949, after all that would have made him barely into his twenties when he did HL so I figured he must have cut a few years off his official age like many a Hollywood actress although who knew he went into Shirley Booth and Natalie Schafer mode slicing off more than a decade :lucyhmm:  Hey if you can get away with it, go for it!

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O M G i was hoping this thread wasn't to say he had died.  How old was he anyway?  And what did he pass away from?

 

1/10/48 - 5/30/15 (67)???????????????????????????????????????????????????

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Okay; who do we believe?  IMDb or Hollywood Reporter?  Please, if someone gets hold of Jim's obit, post it, so I can change the chronology!  Thanks to whomever gets it first....Loving you, JK :fabrary:

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And Imogene Coca, who sliced the most:  1920 vs. 1908.  I'm assuming they didn't want her to seem that much older than her co-star Sid Caesar born in 1922.   Unfortunately, there's usually some event that screws up their timeline.  Imogene starred on Broadway in "New Faces of 1934".   Of course, if Ann Miller indeed was 14 in "Stage Door", anything's possible.    In the wake of her success in "Whales of August", Ann Sothern tried slicing 10 years off her age in an interview with People magazine.  The writer pointed out (to us, NOT Ann) that that would have made her 10 when she made her movie debut as  Harriet Lake, a young woman. 

For women, I think it's more about employability than vanity.   Take Lucy in Mame.  Misogynist reviewers (including females) focused on her age.   Did they mention John Wayne's age every time one of his movies came out?  The leading ladies of Bob Hope and Fred Astaire, especially as these men got older, were all 20 years-plus younger than them.. 

And all of these age-slicing women mentioned, especially Booth and Natalie had the looks and youthful energy to get away with it.  As did Jim.  I saw him probably about 6 years ago in a little club in Palm Springs, talked to him after (had great things to say about Lucy) and I would have put his age at about 60 then, certainly not 70 which apparently is how old he was.

I found it hard to believe he was born in 1949, after all that would have made him barely into his twenties when he did HL so I figured he must have cut a few years off his official age like many a Hollywood actress although who knew he went into Shirley Booth and Natalie Schafer mode slicing off more than a decade :lucyhmm:  Hey if you can get away with it, go for it!

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And Imogene Coca, who sliced the most:  1920 vs. 1908.  I'm assuming they didn't want her to seem that much older than her co-star Sid Caesar born in 1922.   Unfortunately, there's usually some event that screws up their timeline.  Imogene starred on Broadway in "New Faces of 1934".   Of course, if Ann Miller indeed was 14 in "Stage Door", anything's possible.    In the wake of her success in "Whales of August", Ann Sothern tried slicing 10 years off her age in an interview with People magazine.  The writer pointed out (to us, NOT Ann) that that would have made her 10 when she made her movie debut as  Harriet Lake, a young woman. 

For women, I think it's more about employability than vanity.   Take Lucy in Mame.  Misogynist reviewers (including females) focused on her age.   Did they mention John Wayne's age every time one of his movies came out?  The leading ladies of Bob Hope and Fred Astaire, especially as these men got older, were all 20 years-plus younger than them.. 

And all of these age-slicing women mentioned, especially Booth and Natalie had the looks and youthful energy to get away with it.  As did Jim.  I saw him probably about 6 years ago in a little club in Palm Springs, talked to him after (had great things to say about Lucy) and I would have put his age at about 60 then, certainly not 70 which apparently is how old he was.

 

WOULD LOVE to hear of your recollection of THAT conversation....  for the chronology, of course!  Loving you, JK :fabrary:

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