Born on 12 January 1884 in Waco, Mary Louise Cecilia "Texas" Guinan played a gun-slinger and rode bareback in silent films, took New York by storm in 1906, and earned a salary of $700,000 as a speakeasy hostess. Here are highlights from a life led at full speed until 5 November 1933. Meet TEXAS GUINAN!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Texas: Fat or Fate?

Every human being has at least one regret. For Texas Guinan, her most embarrassing dilemma was this flim-flam diet scam. Here's a small portion of the sappy ad copy printed in the early 1900s:

Texas Guinan, Star of the "Passing Show" and N.Y. Winter Garden Company, Offers Her Own Marvelous New Treatment to Fat Folks

• • Eat All You Want & Grow Thin - Reduce Rapidly as Much as Desired - The World's Youngest and Most Beautiful Star shows All Womankind the Way to Slim Grace and Beauty
• • "Texas" Guinan, once a plain, stout girl who suddenly and mysteriously reduced herself to fawn-like, fascinating, fairy proportions, now idolized by the thrilled and dazzled audiences before whom she appeared in "The Passing Show of 1912," "The Kiss Waltz," and "The Kissing Girl," a peerless artist whose immaculate melody of voice and bewitching beauty of face and figure have taken American theatre goers by storm. It is said she was pronounced by New York's foremost theatrical manager as "The most perfectly formed woman alive."
• • As Texas Guinan had to perform at the matinee, it seemed the easiest thing in the world to arrange an interview without consulting her. The vigilant stage doorkeeper was easily passed. The dressing-room was hospitably turned open by a maid, and then, well, Miss Guinan [that is, what is left of her] appeared.
• • "So you have come to learn the story of my weight reduction, have you?" said Texas in her breezy style, with her glorious countenance beaming in smiles at her supreme gladness, realizing how appreciative the world was in bestowing admiration and applause upon her, all on account of the new glory of her form which she transformed almost as if by magic with her own marvelous new treatment. ...
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Illustration: Texas Guinan and her diet ad

Texas Guinan.