Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Fascinating Origins of LA's Original Self-Made Celebrity, Angelyne

For three decades, Los Angeles has been the home territory of the enigmatic celebrity-for-the-sake-of-celebrity, the blonde, self-proclaimed bombshell Angelyne. Known at first for her promotional billboards and for gallivanting around town in her huge teased blonde bouffant and Barbie pink Corvette, she gained a few cameos in movies and televisions. But mainly, she's been famous for being an icon and image of a Los Angeles where anything is possible and anyone can become a celebrity if they try hard enough.

Now HOLLYWOOD REPORTER has taken the time to trace the humble Valley teen years of the would-be exotic creature, who is not happy with letting the world see the girl behind the curtain. The original article is exhaustive and thorough, and you should definitely click the link to read it in its entirety.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Link to Article:
Angelyne's Real Identity is Finally Solved

Excerpt: "Angelyne is one of the vanishingly few contemporary public figures whose background has remained shrouded in mystery, along with the conceptual artist Banksy, Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto and aircraft hijacker D.B. Cooper. The man, who claimed to work in an undefined role for the federal government, said he was a hobbyist genealogist, occasionally taking on paid assignments in the field as an amusing side gig. A few years earlier, he'd decided it'd be fun to set himself the challenge of cracking Angelyne's case. 'And I did,' he explained.

Later, at the 101 Coffee Shop in Hollywood, the genealogist — who looks like Michael Kelly's contained political operative Doug Stamper from House of Cards — unfurled an elaborate story of Angelyne's past, based on material he contended he'd enterprisingly pulled and synthesized from a global network of public databases. He laid down a folded printout of a row of yearbook photos.
'This one,' he said, pointing at a 1967 Monroe Senior High School sophomore from the San Fernando Valley, third from right, 'is Angelyne.' A schoolgirl with hooded eyes and long center-parted locks, in a button-down white shirt and tie, stared out across half a century. 'Also known as Renee Goldberg.'

 he Hollywood Reporter has since independently confirmed this is Angelyne's real identity with public records and family members. Far from the archetypal transplant-with-a-dream, as she has tacitly long alluded, she's the locally raised daughter of Holocaust survivors, a Jew who has found refuge in shiksa drag. It's a fascinating, only-in-L.A. story of identity, history and a symbiotic yearning both to be forgotten and to be famous.

The yearbook photo was no smoking gun. By her own cosmetic surgery confessions, Angelyne has had quite a bit of work done — and if the genealogist was right, that high school junior is now 66 years old.

Copies of immigration, marriage and death records pointed to a cloaked prehistory of Renee Tami Goldberg (originally Ronia Tamar Goldberg), which seems to reveal the trauma Angelyne had both emerged and escaped from. She was born in Poland on Oct. 2, 1950, the daughter of Polish Jews who'd met in the Chmielnik ghetto during World War II — they were among 500 to survive out of a population of 13,000, the rest sent to death at Treblinka. According to the documentation — obtained from the International Tracing Service, established by the Red Cross as an archive of Nazi crimes — her parents, Hendrik (aka Heniek or Henryk) Goldberg and Bronia (aka Bronis) Zernicka, endured unimaginable horrors at a series of concentration camps, first together at Skarzysko, where prisoners' main job was to make munitions, and then apart at the 20th century's most infamous hellscapes, including Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen.

Bronia later submitted paperwork to Yad Vashem indicating she'd lost more than 40 relatives in the Holocaust, including her father, three brothers and a sister. Shortly after liberation, she and Hendrik married in the Foehrenwald displaced persons camp in Germany. They were eventually repatriated to Poland, which remained hostile to Jews after World War II. So after Goldberg's birth, the family immigrated to Israel, remaining in an ultra-orthodox community of Hasidic Jews called Bnei Brak, east of Tel Aviv, until 1959. (A younger sister, Annette, was born in 1954.)
They boarded a ship leaving Haifa for New York and settled in L.A.'s Fairfax District. Her father worked as a tool-and-die mechanic. Then, in 1965, her 44-year-old mother died of cancer. Goldberg was 14.

The next year Hendrik (now Henry) remarried another Holocaust survivor, a seamstress divorcee named Deborah, and Goldberg acquired a younger stepsister, Norma. She and her father moved from the Westside to Panorama City, deep in the San Fernando Valley, where she'd begin high school and Henry and Deborah would run a strip-mall liquor store in nearby Van Nuys. She'd have a brief marriage to the son of a Beverly Hills executive."