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Dancing with Dixie: Vaudeville Star Still Shines

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The Sunday Mirror  reported, in language that sounds a bit archaic to modern ears, that 22-year-old Dixie, “once had a run of 93 in three cushion billiards, bowls a neat 200 and finished last season batting .405 … and has the trophies to prove it …  She has won 11 plaques for excellence in sports since she’s been in show business, and her accomplishments range from swimming and track to stud poker. There’s a popular belief that men don’t like athletic girls, but Dixie belies it. She’s probably the most popular dame in the show, in a cast of 50 expensive stunners.”

“Show biz” could be very demanding. In those days it was not unusual to perform in five or six shows per day, beginning in the morning and ending late in the evening.

Dixie Roberts

One 1943 entertainment reporter noted, “Miss Roberts … can be seen daily at the Vitamaster, New York’s famous Health Food Center, where she enjoys her favorite salad and fresh vegetable juices.”

A fitness-conscious athlete and vegetarian, Dixie stuck to her healthy regime while other performers ate fast foods and partied all night. She believed in having a positive attitude, frequently revealing a deep and wildly infectious laugh, which continues to this day. In addition to performances, Dixie exercised daily and kept a diet regimen that was filled with juices, salads and fresh vegetables.

The proof is in the pudding: at 90, Dixie has outlived vaudeville’s late night “gallivanters,” and clearly has earned the last laugh!

It must be LOVE: Dixie and husband, Fred Baurenfeind

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Note: A three minute you-tube video of Peg Leg Bates’ performances  confirms Dixie’s observations, revealing his unique talent and a positive attitude untarnished by the loss of his leg at age 12.

All photos used with permission of Dixie Roberts Baurenfeind.


Internet Broadway Data Base. Dream with Music. Accessed March 26, 2009.

Internet Broadway Data Base. Ziegfeld Follies of 1943. Accessed March 26, 2009.

Wikipedia. Accessed March 26, 2009.
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Winchell, Walter. Column in the Sunday Mirror, Magazine section. Aug. 15, 1943.

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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Some folks prefer to email me privately with their... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Apr 5, 2009 at 8:40:14 AM
And a playful spirit is something you both share I... by Theresa Paulfranz on Sunday, Apr 5, 2009 at 11:40:11 AM
When I was a little girl I always wanted to be lik... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Apr 5, 2009 at 11:50:40 AM
Your inspiring articles always bring a smile to my... by Gail Davis on Sunday, Apr 5, 2009 at 1:09:56 PM
Yep, she has lotsa stories! I bet when she shot... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Apr 5, 2009 at 1:24:29 PM
What a life!  Meryl Ann, your tribute was lov... by Jan Baumgartner on Sunday, Apr 5, 2009 at 9:48:49 PM
I called Dixie today to wish her a happy birthday!... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Apr 5, 2009 at 10:15:23 PM