Abbe Lane

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Abbe Lane
Lane in 1961
Born
Abigail Francine Lassman[1]

(1932-12-14) December 14, 1932 (age 91)
Other namesAbbe Marshall
Occupation(s)Singer, dancer, actress
Spouses
(m. 1952; div. 1964)
Perry B. Leff
(m. 1964⁠–⁠2020)
(his death)

Abbe Lane (Abigail Francine Lassman; born December 14, 1932) is an American singer and actress. Lane was known in the 1950s and 1960s for her revealing outfits and sultry style of performing. Her first marriage was as the fourth wife of Latin bandleader and musician Xavier Cugat, more than thirty years her senior.

Early years[edit]

Born Abigail Francine Lassman on December 14, 1932, to Jewish parents, Abbey and Grace Lassman,[2][3] in Brooklyn, New York, Lane had a brother, Leonard. She began her career at the age of four as a child actress on Vitaphone and radio. She began dancing on Broadway in 1947 as a teenager.[4][5][unreliable source?] On Broadway, she portrayed "Bobo" in Oh Captain! (1958), starring Tony Randall.[6]

Early in her career, Lane was billed as "Abbe Marshall", her adopted forename possibly in tribute to her father, who was known as "Abbey".[7][8] Using that name, she appeared in the Broadway shows Barefoot Boy with Cheek (1947) and As the Girls Go (1948).[9]

Acting and singing[edit]

Abbe Lane and Xavier Cugat

Because of her work in Europe, Lane was known as an actress before she became recognized for her singing and dancing. She had a television program in Europe and made 21 films there early in her career.[10]

In 1952, she married bandleader Xavier Cugat, more than 30 years her senior. During the 1950s and early 1960s she worked as a nightclub singer and was described in a 1963 magazine article as "the swingingest sexpot in show business."[11] Cugat's influence was seen in her music, which favored Latin and rumba styles. In 1958 she starred opposite Tony Randall in the Broadway musical Oh, Captain! but her recording contract prevented her from appearing on the original cast album of the show. Eileen Rodgers performed her songs for the cast LP; Lane later recorded her songs on a solo album.

Lane made several recordings for RCA Victor and Mercury. She worked with Tito Puente on the album Be Mine Tonight released in 1958. She appeared on talk shows with Cugat until 1963. In 1964, Lane and Cugat divorced. They had no children together during their marriage.[12] Later that same year, Lane married theatrical agent and businessman Perry Leff, with whom she had two sons, Steven and Andrew. They remained married until Leff's death in 2020, aged 93.[13]

Lane attracted attention for her suggestive comments, such as "'Jayne Mansfield may turn boys into men, but I take them from there." She was the first female star of the Italian television, where she appeared in various shows starting from 1955. She said she was considered "too sexy in Italy". Her costume for an appearance on the Jackie Gleason Show was considered too revealing and she was instructed to wear something else. She was a guest on the television shows of Red Skelton, Dean Martin and Jack Benny.[14]

In the later 1960s Lane starred in several Italian films. She performed on television variety programs such as The Ed Sullivan Show, The Steve Allen Show, The Jack Paar Program, The Mike Douglas Show, The Hollywood Palace, The Joey Bishop Show, The Merv Griffin Show and The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson from the 1950s into the 1970s. She played guest roles in Naked City, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Flying Nun, F Troop, The Brady Bunch, Hart to Hart, and Vega$. Her last movie appearance was in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) in the minor role of an airline stewardess.

Later years[edit]

In 1992, Lane wrote the semi-autobiographical novel But Where Is Love? which described the painful memories of a teenage girl married to an older man.[15]

Lane received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6381 Hollywood Boulevard for her contribution to television.

Discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

  • Be Mine Tonight, with Tito Puente and His Orchestra (RCA Victor, 1957)
  • The Lady in Red, with Sid Ramin's Orchestra (RCA Victor, 1958)
  • Where There's a Man, with Sid Ramin and His Orchestra (RCA Victor, 1959)
  • Abbe Lane with Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra (Mercury, 1961)
  • The Many Sides of Abbe Lane (Mercury, 1964)
  • Rainbows (Butterfly Records, 1980)
    • Compilation: Pan, Amor Y .... (RCA, 1981)

With Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra

  • Dancetime with Xavier Cugat (RCA Victor, 1953)
  • Meet Xavier Cugat and Abbe Lane (10" album, Philips, 1955)
  • Ole! (Columbia, 1953)
  • Cha Cha Cha (Columbia in western hemisphere and South Africa, Philips Records in Europe, 1955)

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1949 A Night of Fame
1953 Wings of the Hawk Elena Noriega
1954 Ride Clear of Diablo Kate
1955 The Americano Teresa
1955 Chicago Syndicate Connie Peters
1956 The Wanderers Dolores
1956 Time of Vacation Dolores
1956 The Bachelor Herself
1956 Donatella Herself
1957 Parola di ladro Lalla / Adelaide L'amour
1957 Susana y yo Susana Garcés
1957 The Lady Doctor Dottoressa Brigitte Bellomo
1957 A sud niente di nuovo Jane
1958 Maracaibo Elena Holbrook
1958 Marinai, donne e guai Manuela
1959 Totò, Eva e il pennello proibito Eva
1959 Sunset in Naples Eugenia Fougère
1959 Roulotte e roulette Rossana Possenti
1960 I baccanali di Tiberio Cinthia O'Connor
1960 My Friend, Dr. Jekyll Mafalda
1961 The Naked City (TV series episode) Estelle Reeves
1962 Julius Caesar Against the Pirates Plauzia
1963 The Lightship
1966 The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (TV series episode) Ayesha
1967 The Cricket on the Hearth Moll TV movie
1968 The Flying Nun (TV series episode) Felicia Fiero "The Organ Transplant" S2 E6: November 7, 1968
1970 The Brady Bunch (TV series episode) Beebee Gallini “Mike's Horror-Scope” S1 E16: January 16, 1970
1973 Love, American Style (TV series episode) Evelyn Carson
1983 Hart to Hart (TV series episode) Eleanor Bracken "Straight Through the Hart"
1983 Twilight Zone: The Movie Sr. Stewardess (segment "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet")

Bibliography[edit]

  • Lane, Abbe (1992). But Where Is Love?: A Novel. Warner Books. ISBN 978-0446515986.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goodall, H. Lloyd (2006). A Need to Know: The Clandestine History of a CIA Family. Left Coast Press. p. 146. ISBN 9781598740417. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  2. ^ Saunders, Dick (May 7, 1975). "Abbe Lane rebels against her sexy image". The Miami News. Florida, Miami. Chicago Sun Times Service. p. 62. Retrieved February 5, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "Abbe Lane". allmusic.com. Retrieved 7 August 2023.
  4. ^ "Abbe Marshall – Broadway Cast & Staff". www.ibdb.com. Retrieved 2022-12-19.
  5. ^ "Abbe Lane: A Child Star Who Grew Up a LOT". December 14, 2017. Archived from the original on February 5, 2019. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  6. ^ "Abbe Lane". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on February 5, 2019. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  7. ^ Parsons, Louella (January 25, 1950). "Louella Parsons In Hollywood". Courier-Post. New Jersey, Camden. p. 12. Retrieved February 6, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ Kilgallen, Dorothy (April 7, 1964). "Cougat Implores Abbe To Return". The Miami News. Florida, Miami. p. 10. Retrieved February 6, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "Abbe Marshall". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on February 6, 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  10. ^ Pesmen, Sandra (November 21, 1974). "That Beverly Hills housewife is really singer Abbe Lane". The Minneapolis Star. Minnesota, Minneapolis. Chicago Daily News. p. 10. Retrieved 5 February 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ Thistle, Frank (1963). "The Swingingest Sexpot In Show Business". Adam. Knight Publishing. 7 (4).
  12. ^ "Abbe Lane Wins Divorce". The New York Times. June 4, 1964.
  13. ^ "Abbe Lane". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 15, 2022.
  14. ^ MacKenzie, Carina (23 June 2010). "Abbe Lane: Hollywood Star Walk". Los Angeles Times.
  15. ^ Infusino, Divina. "SEEKING CATHARSIS". Chicagotribune.com.

External links[edit]