Jeanette Schmid

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Jeanette Schmid
Birth name Rudolf Schmid
Also known as Baroness Lips von Lipstrill
Born (1924-11-06)6 November 1924
Volary, Sudetenland
Died 9 March 2005(2005-03-09) (aged 80)
Vienna, Austria
Genres whistling
Occupation(s) whistler
Instruments Voice
Years active 1945–2005

Jeanette Schmid (6 November 1924 – 9 March 2005) was a professional transsexual whistler.

Born Rudolf Schmid in Volary, Sudetenland (in what is now the Czech Republic), Schmid began to dress in feminine clothing at a young age and loved singing and dancing.[1] Schmid did not fit in with the Nazi ideal of the Aryan male but enlisted in the Wehrmacht in 1941 and was posted to Udine, Italy until sent home due to typhoid fever.[2]

As Czechoslovakians began to take revenge against Sudeten Germans at the end of the war, Schmid was forced to flee to Munich where she began a career as a female impersonator.[3] She rapidly gained fame for her talent, bawdy material, and slinky outfits. The Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and his wife Queen Soraya, saw Schmid perform in Hamburg and invited her to Tehran, but Schmid's material and dress were considered inappropriate by many in Iran, and she was forced to devise a new routine. She instead whistled a Strauss polka and Offenbach's Barcarole for the Shah and his court.[1]

Following her Iran performance, Schmid toured the world as a cross-dressing whistler, performing on stage with acts like Frank Sinatra, Édith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich while living in Cairo. In 1964, Schmid underwent sex reassignment surgery and changed her name to Jeanette.[3] Schmid moved to Vienna, the world capital of whistling, to continue her whistling career.

Schmid continued to tour the world under the stage name Baroness Lips von Lipstrill, including a successful stint on Broadway. She was awarded the Austrian Decoration of Merit in Gold in 2004.[2]

Schmid died in Vienna in 2005.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Sieveking, P. (2005). "Necrolog", Fortean Times 201, p. 26. Dennis Consumer Division, London.
  2. ^ a b "Obituary: Jeanette Schmid". The Telegraph. 17 March 2005. 
  3. ^ a b "Whistling-saved-the-day-when-her-routine-was-deemed-too-risque". Sydney Morning Herald. 17 March 2005.