The Incomparable Hildegarde: The Sexuality, Style and Image of an Entertainment Icon
Monica Storme Gallamore
The Incomparable Hildegarde (1906–2005) lived a life of glamour and excitement. She began her career as a pianist in Milwaukee’s silent movie theaters, which led to the Vaudeville stage. By the 1930s, she was singing in the cabarets of Paris and London, rubbing elbows with royalty, White Russians, and Josephine Baker. Returning to the U.S., she became the darling of the New York City supper club scene. Her name and style became synonymous with high-class entertainment at venues like the Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel. She started fashion trends, had her own signature Revlon nail and lip color, and was the first to have hits with many standards of the World War II era.
This first biography of Hildegarde Sill covers her 70–year career, emphasizing her importance in 20th-century American popular culture. The author analyzes her intimate relationship with her manager of two decades, Anna Sosenko.