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Lenny Bruce's former wife dead at 78

Sept. 18, 2005 at 1:05 PM

HONOLULU, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- The former wife of legendary comedian Lenny Bruce, Honey Bruce Friedman, has died in Honolulu at age 78.

The former nightclub singer and stripper died Monday after a long illness, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

Friedman was stripping as "Hot Honey Harlowe" when she and Bruce met in Baltimore, the Times said. They married in 1951.

She later wrote he was "the most handsome man I'd seen in my life."

Bruce tried to turn his wife into a respectable singer and the pair performed movie parodies together, Gerald Nachman wrote in his book, "Seriously Funny: The Rebel Comedians of the 1950s and 1960s."

They had a daughter, Kitty, but the marriage -- marked by their heroin abuse -- ended in 1957.

Friedman's 1977 book "Honey: The Life and Loves of Lenny's Shady Lady," said she had been clean for more than seven years after a 16-year drug addiction.

Friedman is survived by her husband, Jeffrey Friedman, and her daughter.

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