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Bricktop was a legend of inter-war Paris, a celebrated party hostess, entertainer, and nightclub operator, with clientele such as Cole Porter, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway. She gave the young Duke Ellington a Paris platform and made stars of Mabel Mercer and Josephine Baker. She left Paris when the Germans invaded and later set up clubs in Mexico City and Rome. Her real name was Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louisa Virginia Smith Du Conge and she came from West Virginia. Her nickname derived from her early flame-red hair and freckles, and her dazzling legs moved Cole Porter to hire her to teach his friends the Charleston. His song “Miss Otis Regrets” was inspired by her fiery character. Jack Robinson photographed Bricktop on February 1, 1971, in her “most deadly boa”. Brick is quoted in Vogue, “I may be seventy-five, but I don’t have any wrinkles ‘cause underneath I’m still a baby”.
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