Thursday, September 6, 2007
In an age of Wikimania, I thought it might be a good idea to correct the many errors in Lili St. Cyr's entry. Alas, a Wikiguardian disagreed as "Wikipedia isn't about truth, its about verifiability from reliable sources." Until my biography on Lili is actually out in stores, I am apparently not a reliable source. We debated the matter some, but I concede. Thankfully, I don't have to on The Candy Pitch. So, a few corrections to Lili's life:
* According to her birth certificate Marie Frances Van Schaack was born June 3, 1917. Her social security application, which is where the current information comes from, says she was born Willis Marie Van Schaack on June 3, 1918. Lili liked to tell people her name was Willis; it sounded more intriguing. The name was likely a reference to her uncle, William Peseau. But she was actually born Marie Frances. The name was probably a family name; her mother was Idella Marian and both of her grandfathers were named Francis. As for the inconsistency in birth dates, well, her father Edward Van Schaack left to serve in World War I before a 1918 birth date was possible.
* Lili was the oldest of five. Her four half-siblings were Jack Cornett, Bettalee Cornett, Idella Blackadder and Rosemary Blackadder. The two Blackadder girls became performers in their own right. Idella went by Barbara Moffett during her brief movie career before she married toy maker Louis Marx. Rosemary performed in burlesque as Dardy Orlando until she married burlesque impressario Harold Minsky.
I'll pop more corrections up on The Candy Pitch over the next few weeks, but what other errors have you found in Wikipedia's burlesque entries? E-mail 'em to me at kellydinardo AT gmail DOT com or leave them in the comments.