Sophie Tucker

Stage Actress

Sophie Tucker was born in Tulchyn, Vinnytsia Oblast, Ukraine on January 13th, 1887 and is the Stage Actress. At the age of 79, Sophie Tucker biography, profession, age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, measurements, education, career, dating/affair, family, news updates, and networth are available.

Date of Birth
January 13, 1887
United States
Place of Birth
Tulchyn, Vinnytsia Oblast, Ukraine
Death Date
Feb 9, 1966 (age 79)
Zodiac Sign
Actor, Film Actor, Radio Personality, Singer, Stage Actor, Street Artist, Television Actor
Sophie Tucker Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

At 79 years old, Sophie Tucker physical status not available right now. We will update Sophie Tucker's height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, and measurements.

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Sophie Tucker Religion, Education, and Hobbies
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Sophie Tucker Spouse(s), Children, Affair, Parents, and Family
Louis Tuck, ​ ​(m. 1903; div. 1913)​, Frank Westphal, ​ ​(m. 1917; div. 1920)​, Al Lackey, ​ ​(m. 1928; div. 1934)​
Dating / Affair
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Sophie Tucker Life

Sophie Tucker (January 13, 1886 – February 9, 1966) was a Ukrainian-born American singer, comedian, actress, and radio presenter.

Known for her strong performance of comedic and risqué songs in America in the first half of the twentieth century, she was one of the twentieth century's most popular entertainers in America.

"The Last of the Red Hot Mamas" was her common name.

Early life

Tucker was born in Sofiya "Sonya" Kalish (in Russian, он) али (ан) in 1886, later Vinnytsia, Ukraine. (Sonya is a pet name for Sofiya, both Russian and Ukrainian, as well as Sofya, the Yiddish name for Sophia, which is also available in Yiddish). They arrived in Boston on September 26, 1887. The family adopted the surname Abuza before immigrating, her father being concerned about the consequences for having left the Imperial Russian Army. The family lived in Boston's North End for eight years, then moved to Hartford, Connecticut, and opened a restaurant.

She began singing at her parents' restaurant for tips at a young age. Tucker recalled that between taking orders and serving customers, she "would stand up in the narrow space by the door and sing with all the drama I could incorporate into it." There wasn't a dry eye in the room at the end of the last chorus, between me and the onions.

Tucker eloped with Louis Tuck, a beer cart driver, from whom she later derived her professional surname in 1903. When she returned home, her parents arranged an Orthodox wedding for the couple. In 1905, she gave birth to Albert, her son. However, shortly after Albert was born, the couple divorced, and Tucker and her family moved to New York City.

Personal life

Tucker was married three times. Louis Tuck, a beer cart driver with whom she eloped in 1903, was her first marriage. Albert, Tucker's only child, was born in the family. The couple divorced in 1906, and Tucker and her family moved to Albert, New York, to help them with the funds from her singing jobs. In May 1913, they were divorced. Albert was born by his maternal aunt, Annie. Annie and Sophie had a close friendship and kept in touch with weekly newsletters.

Frank Westphal's second marriage (1917–20), her accompanist, and her third marriage to Al Lackey (1928–34), her boss, resulted in divorce and no children were born. She attributed the breakdown of her marriages to her being too young to work. "Once you start carrying your own suitcase, paying your own bills, and producing your own show, you've done something to yourself that makes you one of those women men like to call 'a pal' and 'a good sport,' the kind of woman they describe as a good sport.' You've probably cut yourself off from the orchids and diamond bracelets except those you buy yourself."

Tucker died of lung cancer and kidney disease in her Park Avenue apartment on February 9, 1966. She continued to work until her death, appearing at the Latin Quarter just weeks before. She is buried in Wethersfield, Connecticut, at Emanuel Cemetery.


Sophie Tucker Career


After she left her husband, Willie Howard gave Tucker a letter of recommendation to Harold Von Tilzer, a composer and theatrical producer in New York. When it failed to bring her work, Tucker found jobs in cafés and beer gardens, singing for food and tips from the customers. She sent most of what she made back home to Connecticut to support her son and family.

In 1907, Tucker made her first theater appearance, singing at an amateur night in a vaudeville establishment. The producers thought that the crowd would tease her for being "so big and ugly." Early in her career, Tucker appeared in blackface as a minstrel singer, but she disliked this work and would sabotage the act by revealing that she was white at the end of the show, first removing a glove to reveal her white hand, then by pulling off her wig and exposing her blonde hair. Tucker also began integrating "fat girl" humor, which became a common thread in her acts. Her songs included "I Don't Want to Get Thin" and "Nobody Loves a Fat Girl, But Oh How a Fat Girl Can Love."

In 1909, Tucker performed with the Ziegfeld Follies. Though she was a hit, the other female stars refused to share the spotlight with her, and the company was forced to let her go. This caught the attention of William Morris, a theater owner and future founder of the William Morris Agency. Two years later, Tucker released "Some of These Days" on Edison Records, written by Shelton Brooks. The title of the song was used as the title of Tucker's 1945 biography.

In 1921, Tucker hired pianist and songwriter Ted Shapiro as her accompanist and musical director, a position he would keep throughout her career. Besides writing a number of songs for her, Shapiro became part of her stage act, playing piano on stage while she sang, and exchanging banter and wisecracks with her in between numbers. Tucker remained a popular singer through the 1920s and became friends with stars such as Mamie Smith and Ethel Waters, who introduced her to jazz. Tucker learned from these women and became one of the early performers to introduce jazz to white vaudeville audiences.

In 1925, Jack Yellen wrote "My Yiddishe Momme", a song which became strongly identified with her and was performed in cities which had a significant Jewish audience. Tucker said "Even though I loved the song and it was a sensational hit every time I sang it, I was always careful to use it only when I knew the majority of the house would understand Yiddish. However, you didn't have to be a Jew to be moved by 'My Yiddishe Momme'." The song was banned in Nazi Germany. At the end of World War 2 in 1945, American G.I.'s seizing Berlin blasted out the song on a gramophone after they reached the Brandenberg Gate.

By the 1920s, Tucker's success had spread to Europe, and she began a tour of England, performing for King George V and Queen Mary at the London Palladium in 1926. Tucker re-released her hit song "Some of These Days", backed by Ted Lewis and his band, which stayed at the number 1 position of the charts for five weeks beginning November 23, 1926. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.

Tucker was strongly affected by the decline of vaudeville. Speaking about performing in the final show at E.F. Albee's Palace in New York City, she remarked "Everyone knew the theater was to be closed down, and a landmark in show business would be gone. That feeling got into the acts. The whole place, even the performers, stank of decay. I seemed to smell it. It challenged me. I was determined to give the audience the idea: Why brood over yesterday? We have tomorrow. As I sang, I could feel the atmosphere change. The gloom began to lift, the spirit which formerly filled the Palace and which made it famous among vaudeville houses the world over came back. That's what an entertainer can do."

In 1929, she made her first movie appearance in Honky Tonk. During the 1930s, Tucker brought elements of nostalgia for the early years of the 20th century into her show. She was billed as "The Last of the Red Hot Mamas" as her hearty sexual appetite was a frequent subject of her songs, unusual for female performers of the day after the decline of vaudeville.

The cartoon The Woods Are Full of Cuckoos caricatures Tucker as Sophie Turkey.

In 1938, Tucker was elected president of the American Federation of Actors, an early actors' trade union. Originally formed for vaudeville and circus performers, the union expanded to include nightclub performers and was chartered as a branch of the Associated Actors and Artistes.

In 1939, the union was disbanded by the American Federation of Labor (AFL) for financial mismanagement. However, Tucker was not implicated in the proceedings. The AFL later issued a charter for the succeeding American Guild of Variety Artists, which remains active.

In 1938–1939, she had her own radio show, The Roi Tan Program with Sophie Tucker, broadcast on CBS for 15 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. She made numerous guest appearances on such programs as The Andrews Sisters and The Radio Hall of Fame. In the 1950s and early 1960s Tucker, "The First Lady of Show Business", made frequent television appearances on many popular variety and talk shows of the day such as The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show. She remained popular abroad, performing for fanatical crowds in the music halls of London that were attended by King George V. On April 13, 1963, a Broadway musical titled Sophie, based on her early life up until 1922, opened with Libi Staiger as the lead. It closed after eight performances.

Tucker continued to perform for the rest of her life. In 1962, she performed in the Royal Variety Performance, which was broadcast on the BBC. She appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show on October 3, 1965. For the color broadcast, her last television appearance, she performed "Give My Regards to Broadway", "Louise", and her signature song, "Some of These Days".