Partner Teri Shepherd
Frances Faye (November 4, 1912 – November 8, 1991) was an American cabaret and show tune singer and pianist. Born to a working-class Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York City, she was a second cousin of actor Danny Kaye. From 1940–1951 Spivy ran her own nightclub, Spivy's Roof, on New York's East 57th Street. The club was noted for its tolerance of gay performers and patrons; Spivy herself was a lesbian in private life. Among the artists who performed there were Frances Faye, Mabel Mercer, Moms Mabley, Thelma Carpenter, Paul Lynde, Martha Raye, Bea Arthur, Liberace, and actor-magician Fred Keating.
Born as Frances Cohen, Faye's showbiz career began at the age of 15 in nightclubs where she first became a star. She appeared in one Bing Crosby film; Double or Nothing singing "After You". She wrote the song "Well All Right" recorded by the Andrews Sisters. Faye made her solo recording debut in 1936. Her act became famous for including double entendres and references to homosexuality and lesbianism. Faye herself was bisexual and hinted at this frequently in her act; she would often playfully alter pronouns in love songs or weave her girlfriend's name into lyrics of song. For instance, she inserted "it's a Teri, Teri day" into "The Man I Love" and on national television sang "why do all the boys treat Teri so right" in "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate."
She recorded about a dozen albums for many different record labels, including Capitol Records and Imperial Records and jazz labels Verve Records and Bethlehem Records.
Faye was married twice in the 1940s. In the late 1950s, a woman named Teri Shepherd became her manager and lifelong partner. Shepherd discussed her relationship with Faye in Bruce Weber's 2001 film Chop Suey.
Faye was arrested in 1955 on a narcotics charge in Los Angeles; police asserted that she and the three men arrested at the same time possessed marijuana.
During in the 1960s, Faye suffered a number of health related problems brought on by a hip accident in 1958. She nevertheless continued to tour into the early 1980s. Peter Allen credited her as a major influence and had Faye sing the vocals on the track "Just a Gigolo (Schoner Gigolo)" on his 1974 album, Continental American.
She returned to film in 1978, playing an elderly cocaine-sniffing madam in the Louis Malle film Pretty Baby. She retired shortly afterwards. At the time of her death in 1991, aged 79, she was living with Shepherd.
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