Gypsy Rose Lee (born January 8, 1911 – April 26, 1970) was an American burlesque entertainer, famous for her striptease act. She was also an actress and writer, whose 1957 memoir, written as a monument to her mother, was made into the stage musical and film Gypsy.
Gypsy was born Rose Louise Hovick in Seattle, Washington in 1911, although her mother later shaved three years off both of her daughters' ages. She was initially known by her middle name, Louise. Her mother, Rose Thompson Hovick, married John Olaf Hovick, who was a newspaper advertising salesman. Her sister, Ellen June Hovick (better known as actress June Havoc), was born in 1913.
After their parents divorced, the girls earned the family's money by appearing in vaudeville where June's talent shone, while Louise remained in the background. At the age of 13, June married a boy in the act named Bobby Reed, whom Rose had arrested and met at the police station with a hidden gun. She pulled the trigger but the safety was on and Bobby was freed. June left the act and went on to a brief career in marathon dancing before giving birth to April Reed around 1930.