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Edith Massey


“I never worked with Fellini, so I can’t say nothing bad.”



Born in San Francisco, Edith Dornfield was raised in an orphanage in Denver, Colorado. According to John Waters’ book, Shock Value, she lived in this orphanage “until she was sent out to be a maid at the age of fifteen. Edie finally got fed up and ran away, but was captured by the police and put in a reformatory.”

She moved to Los Angeles, California in an attempt to start a career in show business. She is said to have appeared as an extra in the 1940 film Arise, My Love, which starred Ray Milland and Claudette Colbert, however a search of the cast and crew, including uncredited roles at IMDb could not confirm this.

In 1946, she married a soldier, presumably surnamed Massey, in Reno, Nevada. In Shock Value, Edie recalls that the wedding was the happiest day of her life, despite the fact that “he went to the movies by himself right after the ceremony and I went to the gambling casino alone”. They separated in 1951 after Massey “got restless”.

She… read more


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