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.
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
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. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGS7hTQ8UWA
All photos used with permission of Dixie Roberts Baurenfeind.
Internet Broadway Data Base. Dream with Music. http://www.ibdb.com/production.php?id=1427 Accessed March 26, 2009.
Internet Broadway Data Base. Ziegfeld Follies of 1943. http://www.ibdb.com/production.php?id=1286 Accessed March 26, 2009.
Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixie_Roberts Accessed March 26, 2009.
Winchell, Walter. Column in the Sunday Mirror, Magazine section. Aug. 15, 1943.
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