A svelte 180
With 180 pounds on her 5-foot
frame, Marie LeDoux is a mere shadow of her former self and
she couldn't get back her old job - "Fat Lady" in the circus.
She weighed in at "somewhere between 350 and 400 pounds," she
"I wasn't fat enough to just sit
and let people look at me, so I sang and danced, too."
She continued: "I've never
known what it is not to be fat, when I was 9 years old, I
weighted 210 pounds."
THE FORMER 'fat lady" came by her
weight and her job naturally - her parents were circus folk and
her mother, too, was a "fat lady."
Miss LeDoux just missed being
born "under the canvas." She greeted the work in the
circus' winter quarters 60 years ago at Baraboo Wis. in the days
before Florida became the winter haven for the Ringling Bros.
Her job has taken her to every
state in the Union except Alaska and to Australia, New Zealand,
China, Japan and Cuba.
She danced I the "hefty line" in
Chicago's Haymarket Theater.
In 1933 on a tour of Japan she
played in a show which gave a command performance for Emperor
Hirohito in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo and was a guest on the
palace grounds for three days.
"I don't have any pictures taken
then," she said. "During the Second World War, the United
States government took them for intelligence purposes."
THERE AREN'T many reminders of
her former life left for Marie Le Doux.
"I kept an old costume of mine
around for years," she said, "but two years ago I decided I'd
probably never wear it again and disposed of it. It was a
size 56. Every time I looked at it, I'd diet harder.
"I wear an 181/2
now - I took off the
pounds with a three year diet of cottage cheese and fruit.
"People always were amazed that I
ate so little when I was so fat" - I really was a very light
eater. But I ate the wrong things - candy, sandwiches,
soda pop. When you are in a show, you never eat or sleep
"I'll never allow myself to be
THERE ARE many things to occupy
Miss LeDoux in her retirement - her young adopted daughter,
Mrs. Sandra Weisberg, and her son, Richard, 20 months, who live
with Miss LeDoux; her tiny poodle, Pepi, and the Showman's Club
which she helped to found.
"Sandra was abandoned by her
parents when she was six months old." Miss LeDoux
explained "I adopted her several years later when we found her
parents. She's been in the circus, too, as a snake charmer
- she worked with pythons and boa constrictors."
by Sally Gene
Seattle Times -
Dec 6th 1964
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