EXPIRED: 01/01/01 – Jean Carroll, 98, dressed like a lady and swore like a sailor. She used to be called Bob Hope in a cocktail dress, a stand-up comic who would grab the microphone and tell stories about her idiot husband, her rotten kid and the women she met at Florida hotels who would sit around the pool telling lies.
She was way ahead of her time.
She was born Celine Zeigman in Paris, came to America before she was 2 years old and started out as a part of a song and dance vaudeville troupe but was surely a standout. So she began doing solo stand-up in the 1930s when that was a very un-ladylike thing to do. She wrote most of her own material, and by 1949 she had become the first comedian to sell out the Copa, the Paramount and the Capitol Theater in New York all within six months.
A regular on the Ed Sullivan Show, she soon had her own ABC comedy series, “Take It From Me.” But she stopped the show shortly into it. She felt her husband was miscast and, besides, she made more money on the road so why bother.
She retired in the 60’s to be a housewife in Hartsdale, a quiet town in suburban Westchester County and up until her death went by her legal name, Celine Howe. In 2007, a feature-length documentary, “Jean Carroll: I Made It Standing Up,” narrated by Lily Tomlin, was filmed and Ms. Carroll was roasted spectacularly.
She died 5 days before her 99th birthday.