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