Bert Savoy

b. Everett McKenzie, 1888, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, d. 26 June 1923, Long Beach, New York, USA. The life and career of this performer reads like an outline for a Hollywood film, except that much of…
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Artist Biography

b. Everett McKenzie, 1888, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, d. 26 June 1923, Long Beach, New York, USA. The life and career of this performer reads like an outline for a Hollywood film, except that much of it is too improbable. Starting out in the theatre as a chorus boy, he turned his innate effeminacy to good use by developing an act as a female impersonator in, of all places, the northern frontier towns of Alaska and the Yukon. Somehow getting out of there alive, Savoy went to New York to team up with Jay Brennan who had a similar act. The new outrageous double act was hugely successful and the pair became headliners. In the early 20s they were featured in several editions of John Murray Anderson’s Greenwich Village Follies. Savoy behaved offstage the way he behaved on, and some claim that the way in which Savoy walked in everyday life was imitated by Mae West as the basis for her distinctive and highly suggestive hip-rolling stroll. Reportedly, Savoy was doing his thing while walking along the beach when thunder was heard. ‘Ain’t Miss God cutting up something awful?’ he declared, and was promptly struck by lightning.