The story you are about to read is true; the events took place between 1920 and 1999. Hedy Jo Star's life journey started in Prague, Oklahoma, to the East Coast and West Coast of America, Canada and Europe, and ended in Las Vegas, NV, where she passed away in 1999. There are very few people in the entertainment or costume industry that hasn't met or heard of the name HEDY JO STAR. She traveled in famous circus's all over the country, designed and made costumes for herself, dancers, show-girls, circus performers, clowns, female impersonators, strippers, burlesques performers and many, many actors and actress. In this book you will see pictures of Hedy Jo, and many of the beautiful people she designed costumes for and worked with. They are wearing some of the costumes she made for them. She carries the prestige of being the very first successful sex change in the United States of America. The surgery was performed at the Methodist Hospital, in Memphis TN in June of 1962. All the medical records are in tact, and in the possession of her nephew, Roy E. Richmond.

This book is being offered to preserve the life lived, and memory of Hedy Jo Star, hopefully in some way help others who may be experiencing the same difficulties she went through because of her mixed up DNA. It includes her autobiography she wrote in 1963, and other articles that were the results of Roy's many years of research concerning Hedy Jo's life. I will start this book out with articles from others concerning gender changes, and various letters from people who new Aunt Hedy Jo. At the end of the book the reader will find a pictorial history of Hedy Jo Stars life, and picture of the many friends she made costumes for, and also a few pages from the medical records of her surgery. While doing my research, I found quite a few articles on the World Wide Web; most of them had wrong dates, and even gave the wrong name for her birth name. This book will reveal all the correct information. There is also a section that has various pencil sketches of the surgical procedure that took place many years ago, during a gender change surgery. 

The following are excerpts from a writing Tony Midnite wrote about Aunt Hedy
.

Hedy Jo Star was born Carl Rollins Hammonds on Feb. 10th, 1920 in Prague Oklahoma.  Her mother was Bertha Hammonds, which lived at 1522 Westwood St. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Her father and her mother are deceased.

Hedy has two brothers and four sisters. Hedy is the eldest. Her brothers reaction to her sex change was, "it should have been done years ago."

The present Miss Star lived as a woman since the age of 18. Her age during the time of this story was 42.  Although she was male in gender, she knew she was female and ended up completely converted into a woman.  A team of five of the foremost doctors in their various specialized fields did the final operation.  This consisted of plastic surgeons, urologist, psychiatrist and two other surgeons.

Hedy entered the hospital June 23rd and she was released July 31 from the final operation. However it must be remembered that she underwent two previous operations, one at New York's Park East (bust implants), which led to this final operation.  She was examined by a team of doctors at John Hopkins for possible transformation, (we have papers to verify this), but was turned down.  These doctors will verify that she was a man at that time.  The proof is obvious that she is a woman now.

Her present doctors believe that she is by far the most complete sex change accomplished as of the date this letter is being written.

Miss Star was owner-manager and operator of a show billed as the Hollywood State Revue which played large outdoor fair dates during the season.  She usually had a show and stage crew of thirty-five people.  During the winter season she worked nightclubs as a Hypnosis expert.  She is very adept at this art.  Miss Star was very well known in show business circles and was always a good drawing card for anyone she worked for.  Thus she was always in demand.

During this period she used special latex rubber busts, which I created especially for her. They were very realistic and never questioned.
 

Mind you, all legal aspects of this case were investigated and observed by everyone involved. However, we will only give the names of the doctors who examined Miss Star at John Hopkins and turned down the operation. This will verify that she was a man at the time and a local doctor who saw her and treated her before and after.  If the other doctors want to come forward on their own and make a statement, fine, but under no circumstances will we give their names.  It would cause them embarrassment and annoyance within their profession, which we would not want to be responsible for.

I would like to add a personal observation to this thing.  I have known Miss Star for some sixteen years. Our relationship is strictly a business relationship.  Other wise we are good friends. I designed costumes for her and her show for many years. I have known her for a long time and am possibly her closest friend at this time.

With the approaching final surgery she was very tense, but determined to go on.  Actually she was completely fearless of any pain.  Unknown to most people, a person of Hedys type never thinks of the pain involved. She thought of only the final result. She was on the operating table for five and a half hours during which she was given a lot of blood. Actually she was very low at one point. The one thing that really bothered Hedy came out later.  In a moment of personal confidence to me she revealed that just before she went on the table she had a strange feeling "almost holy".  She felt the need to talk to her God.  This she did.  She asked our Lord not to let her live to leave the operating table if she was doing wrong and going against His will. She said she was looking at a picture of Jesus on the wall, and after asking that, it was as though He smiled at her; she then had the peace to go through with the operation.

 I know this person so well and all I can say is this.  There has been a great change in her mind and heart.  She thinks better and clearer.  She is very, very happy.  If it is true that life begins at forty, she has been reborn at forty-two.  This must prove Gods approval. Who are we to question?

Copyright 2007- 2011 Hedy Jo Star - Roy E. Richmond All rights reserved

 

Since this article was first posted on Sideshow World, we have received permission from additional family members to use this article on Sideshow World.

 

Posted here with permission of the Family of Sedy Jo Star and R.E. Richmond


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