Famous for Being Famous
August 2, 2017 12:49 PM   Subscribe

The Mystery of L.A. Billboard Diva Angelyne's Real Identity Is Finally Solved

LA cult character Angelyne has worked as a model, singer and actor, but she's best known for her self-promotional billboards on the Sunset Strip. (She's currently crowdfunding to bring back.) Her story is a legend — and may have inspired the Kardashians — but her identity remained shrouded in self-made mystery for decades. Until now.
posted by me3dia (12 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Sorry, this seems... kind of sordid and intrusive for no very good reason? -- LobsterMitten

Reminds me of Tommy Wiseau, although Angelyne was at it long before he was. Whatever else she is, she is an American original. It takes intense drive and dedication to make yourself the physical embodiment of L.A. and live that way for, and through, the rest of your life. (That, and a very unhappy childhood.) As an intensely rooted person with a body that can't be easily modified, I am always fascinated by people who completely invent themselves -- not reinvent, but invent, discarding everything and starting from scratch.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:09 PM on August 2

This is a little gross.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:09 PM on August 2 [8 favorites]

Her identity is Angelyne. "Finally solved" just means a whole bunch of doxxing.
posted by sageleaf at 1:10 PM on August 2 [11 favorites]

But... why?

I mean, she wanted to reinvent herself. There's no evidence that she committed a crime or was bad to other people or anything like that. She just... wanted to be ANGELYNE instead of Renee, so why not let her?

This is voyeurism, not journalism.
posted by Etrigan at 1:11 PM on August 2 [8 favorites]

"And who's this guy? He's poking into Angelyne's business — why don't we get his name?" I put that question to the genealogist soon afterward, who'd communicated with me under the pseudonym Ed Thompson.

"There's a difference between her and me — and she and most people," he reasoned by phone. "She's a celebrity, and beyond that, she forfeited any claim of privacy when she ran, as a joke or a stunt or not, for governor of California" during the recall race that Arnold Schwarzenegger won in 2003. "As for me," he went on, explaining he had a government job that included a top-secret clearance, "reputation is fairly important, and the controversy that might be involved in this situation is not part of that culture. There's a minute possibility that surreptitious activity — not illegal but surreptitious — could reflect badly on a top-secret clearance."

Epic bullshittery.
posted by roger ackroyd at 1:17 PM on August 2 [12 favorites]

Is Angelyne the source of the Suzanne Somers character in American Graffiti, continuously and conspicuously driving around the city in an exotic car?
posted by ubiquity at 1:19 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]

Based on reactions from my Jewish female friends, it means a lot to them to find out Angelyne is Jewish. So there is that.
posted by maxsparber at 1:26 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]

Is Angelyne the source of the Suzanne Somers character in American Graffiti, continuously and conspicuously driving around the city in an exotic car?

No. She started her career after AG came out.
posted by Etrigan at 1:31 PM on August 2

Note that "finally solved" is Hollywood Reporter's line, not mine. I found the whole story rather sad, especially once it reached the recollections of her ex-husband, but I imagine this article satisfied the morbid curiosity of many Angelinos who've wondered about her over the past 40 years.
posted by me3dia at 1:31 PM on August 2

Epic bullshittery.

Like, White House-level.

Yeah, I'm not going to say that this isn't vaguely interesting in a gossipy way, but I didn't devote time to ferreting it out, either. As to the guy who did I think Hennig gets it right:
It's almost like ..." He thought for a moment. "Like stalker stuff, it really is. It's kind of creepy. It's weird."
I mean, yeah yeah public figure and all that. I guess the question is why anyone would put so much effort into a story that is basically "She came to LA and reinvented herself. Like everyone else."
posted by octobersurprise at 1:31 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]

I'm going to avoid reading this article. I don't really want to know her as anything other than Angelyne.

I also think that digging into her past (and presumably against her wishes) is kinda icky.
posted by dfm500 at 1:40 PM on August 2

Yeah, she's Angelyne. This is weird, intrusive and downright gross.
posted by drewbage1847 at 1:44 PM on August 2

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