David Bruce: Nudity Anecdotes

• In the early 1960s Royal Shakespeare Society production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream, actress Judi Dench appeared nearly nude as Titania. She wore pointed ears, a strand of ivy, green body makeup, a chamois leather G-string, and two small chamois patches over her nipples. While filming at the lake in Compton Verney, the director wanted rain to appear to be falling on the lake, so a fireman was hired to train a hose on the lake. However, the fireman saw Ms. Dench’s lack of costume, did a double-take, and accidentally trained the hose on her, propelling her into the lake. Getting out of the lake, Ms. Dench fell in the mud, which removed most of her green body makeup, as well as the patches covering her nipples. No filming was done that day.

• At the beginning of the NCAA gymnastics meet in 1974, a man walked out onto the floor exercise mat wearing nothing but pantyhose — over his head. Otherwise completely nude, he performed a roundoff, a back handspring, and a back somersault, and then he raced away with a police officer in pursuit. After managing to elude the police officer, he removed the pantyhose mask, got dressed, and returned to watch the competition. The nude gymnast was Jim Culhane, who made $35 in dares for performing his stunt.

• When Judge Roy Hofheinz wanted support to build a domed stadium in Houston, he took a bunch of VIPs out on a junket to visit some major league stadiums before stopping at Las Vegas, where the VIPs enjoyed a show filled with topless showgirls. Morris Frank was among the VIPs. When the VIPs arrived home again, Mr. Frank looked out of the plane window, saw his wife waiting for him, then complained, “Well, it sure was great seeing all them major-league boobies, but it’s back to the minors today.”

• Director John Waters once tired to track down stripper Blaze Starr so he could ask her to make an appearance in one of his films. Finally, he tracked down Blaze’s sister, who was acting as her agent. Blaze’s sister asked if nudity would be involved in her role. Because Mr. Waters knew that Blaze must be in her 60s at that time, he replied that there wasn’t any. “Oh,” said Blaze’s sister, “she wouldn’t be interested then,” and she hung up on him.

• Sometimes what you think you see is not what you actually see. To create an illusion of nudity, female dancers sometimes wear flesh-colored costumes on which nipples and navels have been painted. Sometimes what you think you see is what you actually see. In 1978, Vivi Flindt stripped off all of her clothing to perform the dance of Salome for the Royal Danish Ballet. Her husband, Flemming Flindt, danced the role of Herod.

• A model was starting to change clothes when she saw an elderly window washer outside her window. She decided to give him a show and took off her blouse. No reaction. She then took off her skirt. No reaction. She took off the rest of her clothes, then walked over to the window and stood directly in front of the window washer. He asked, “What’s the matter, lady? Haven’t you ever seen a window washer before?”

• After having a mastectomy, comedian Danitra Vance (1959-1994) went on stage and performed as the character Harriet Hetero the Feminist Stripper. At one point in her act, she stripped off her shirt to reveal one breast. Over the place where her other breast had been was a taped X. Why did she do this? She answered, “I had to show that this body is okay.”

• When Harpo Marx first met George Bernard Shaw, Harpo had just finished a swim in the nude and was wearing only a towel around his waist. Mr. Shaw pretended to be going to shake hands with Harpo, but instead he jerked Harpo’s towel off, then, with Harpo standing naked, said, “And this is Mrs. Shaw.” The two men became friends.

• I usually don’t like celebrity tell-all gossip, but this is a funny story, even though I’m not going to tell you the names of the celebrities involved. A famous baseball player once boasted to a famous actress about a particular part of his body. For the baseball player’s next birthday, the actress sent him a ruler and a mirror.

• Sojourner Truth (1797-1883), a traveling preacher, was a strong African-American woman, and she was dogged by rumors that she was really a man who dressed in women’s clothing. Once, she bared one of her breasts before an audience, and then said, “It is not my shame, but yours that I should do this.”

• Once, a couple of people streaked stark naked across the baseball diamond of a game Yogi Berra was playing. Later, his wife asked him if the streakers had been male or female. Yogi replied, “I don’t know — they had bags over their faces.”

• The American musical Haircontains a brief nude scene. When Hairwas exported to England, critic John Osborne said, “There will probably be a quick rash of hairy American filth, but it shouldn’t threaten the existence of cheerful, decent, serious British filth.”

• When a man streaked across the stage during the Academy Awards, Oscar presenter David Niven said, “Let’s not pay any attention to him. All he is doing is showing his shortcomings.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved




David Bruce’s Lulu Bookstore (Paperbacks)

David Bruce’s Amazon Author Bookstore

David Bruce’s Smashwords Bookstore

David Bruce’s Apple Bookstore

David Bruce’s Barnes and Noble Books

David Bruce’s Kobo Books

davidbruceblog #1

davidbruceblog #2

davidbruceblog #3

David Bruce: Nudity Anecdotes

• A production of Bohèmein Hamburg involved nudity. A young woman playing Euphémie, Schaunard’s girlfriend, appeared completely nude to model for a picture and donned clothing only when Rodolfo worried that she might catch cold. At a dress rehearsal, things went fine until the nude actress appeared, then the members of orchestra tried to play their instruments in strange positions so they could around and look at the nude actress. Of course, this caused havoc with the music. The conductor, Nello Santi, solved this problem by asking the nude actress if she would walk to the end of the stage for a few moments so the members of the orchestra could look at her. She didn’t mind, the members of the orchestra got a good look, then the rest of the rehearsal proceeded smoothly.

• Jayne Mansfield was a very healthy woman — her studio chair didn’t bear her name; instead, it bore the legend, “40-21-35.” Indeed, her breasts often upstaged other actresses. For example, at an event staged for Jane Russell’s movie Underwater, Jayne fell into a swimming pool and lost her swimming suit top. On another occasion, when Sophia Loren was being honored at a Hollywood reception, Jayne went over to her table to greet her, and bent over. One of her breasts came out of her dress, and Clifton Webb, who was sitting beside Ms. Loren, said, “Please, Miss Mansfield, we are wine drinkers at this table.”

• Ewan McGregor’s parents are huge fans of his work, and they often bring many friends with them to attend his films’ premieres in Scotland. However, when his movie The Pillow Book, which featured lots of nudity, including full-frontal nudity, came out, Mr. McGregor told his parents that they might not want to bring friends to see that particular premiere. Nevertheless, shortly afterward his parents sent him a fax to say that they loved the film. His father added this postscript to the fax: “I’m glad to see you’ve inherited one of my major assets.”

• Carol Cleveland is a beautiful woman who acted frequently with Monty Python’s Flying Circus, but today she is upset because so many fans say they saw her naked on the Monty Python TV series. Actually, she explains, she was never naked at all. The closest she ever came to being naked was when she was being chased by a man-eating roll-top desk, and cacti kept ripping off her clothes. In the last scene, she loses her top as she runs away from the camera. Other than that, she wore showgirl costumes and lingerie a lot, but she was never naked.

• While R.C. “Rudy” Gorman was in the first grade, he liked to draw with crayons. One day, his teacher looked at his artwork and, shocked, she asked him what he had drawn. He said that he had drawn a lady. This was true, but the lady wasn’t wearing any clothing. His teacher spanked him, and then she sent him home to show the drawing to his mother. Rudy’s mother looked at it, then she spanked him, too. Today, Mr. Gorman is an important artist whose artworks, including nudes, are in great demand.

• As a gay teenager, author Joel Perry used to hide copies of Playgirl, which features a nude male centerfold each issue, under his bed. One day, his mother found them, so he told her that he was keeping them for a girl named Susie so that Susie’s mother wouldn’t find them. She believed him. Years later, after he had been living with a male lover for 11 years, she asked if he was gay. After hearing that he was, she said, “Oh, honey, and you’re not even a good dancer.”

• In the Monty Python movie Life of Brian, Graham Chapman has a brief nude scene in which he appears before 300 Tunisian extras. The extras did not behave as expected, for the extras were Muslim, and their religion forbids women to see such scenes. So when Mr. Chapman suddenly opened some shutters and appeared naked before them, half of the extras — the women — ran away, screaming.

• British comedian Danny La Rue performs in drag, and he is very funny. One night, a woman in the audience was annoyed that her boyfriend was paying attention to Mr. La Rue’s performance instead of paying attention to her, so she bared her breasts and told her boyfriend, “Look — these are real.” From the stage, Mr. La Rue said, “Yes, darling, they are — but I can hang mine up when it’s hot!”

• Back when women jockeys first started racing, they tended to upset some of the men jockeys. Sometimes, the men jockeys would be naked in the steam bath and when they would walk — still naked — into the jockeys’ room, they would see women jockeys waiting to weigh in. This really didn’t bother the women jockeys, one of whom said, “I never notice faces.”

• On the Carol Burnett Show, Ms. Burnett once played the role of a woman in a nudist camp being interviewed by a reporter played by Harvey Korman. When Mr. Korman asked how people danced at the nudist camp, she replied, “Very carefully.” Unfortunately, the censors objected to that line. No problem. The writers substituted a new line: “Cheek to cheek.”

• When Russian heiress Ida Rubinstein wished to dance nude in the role of Salome in 1908, her brother-in-law, a physician, was so upset that he committed her to a mental institution. It didn’t work. After she got out of the mental institution, she appeared nude in many roles, including that of Cleopatra.

• When the courtesan La Barucci met the Prince of Wales, she turned her back to him, bent over, then lifted her shirts to show him her bare backside. “Look,” she told the other people present, “I show him the best part of me and it costs him nothing.”

• A member of the White House Preservation Committee once got to meet Nancy Reagan. Unfortunately, when Mrs. Reagan stood up, her skirt fell to the ground. She was unabashed and told her guest, “This is onemeeting you’ll never forget.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


David Bruce’s Smashwords Bookstore: Retellings of Classic Literature, Anecdote Collections, Discussion Guides for Teachers of Literature, Collections of Good Deed Accounts, etc. Some eBooks are free.