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4Aug. 2016.

An Audience with Miss Hope Springs

The crackle of sequins, the rustle of chiffon and the heady aroma of eyelash adhesive - yes, we're cock-a-hoop to  welcome the legendary Miss Hope Springs onto our premises. Ahead of her glittering three-night reign over our historic auditorium next week, we were honoured to be granted a bijou chat-ette with this one-in-a-million glamour puss. 

What has been the high spot of your career to date?
I have just gotten back from an exhausting 132 date coast-to-coast tour of the USA with my husband Irving (and his close friend Carlos who travels with us and helps with my hair and makeup). We were in the winnebago going through downtown Hicksville, we pulled in to get some Mexican food, the waiter recognised me (from my 1969 cable TV special Latin ala Springs) and...I got a free taco!

And an experience to make you shudder at the memory?
When my friend the Swedish 'art house'' actress Alaena Traffik and I went to the, hugely fashionable at the time (it was the Summer of Love), naked disco in Oslo. We walked in, took all our clothes off. When the dry ice cleared we were in the wrong club.

Who has influenced you more than anyone?
My mother Rusty (Rusty Springs). She’s my rock. Well…actually more like a piece of pumice these days. Rusty started out as an exotic dancer in Nebraska in the 1940s. Tragically I lost her only last week….Well, Victoria Coach Station at rush hour is a nightmare. She was halfway to Newcastle before I realised.

You sing a wonderful song about making the most of your good points - what do you feel is your greatest asset?
I think it’s my tenacity. As an actress I’ve been turned down by every producer and director in Hollywood (and not for just acting roles). My recording career went nowhere when I was dropped by Capitola Records in late 1979 because my disco LP Blood, Sweat and Sequins sold only 12 copies. And yet here I am still trying to ignite the flame of success in your beautiful country. I always say, who knows what’s just around the corner? Actually I do...it’s a bus-stop and a Cafe Nero but that’s not what I mean.

Vintage Hope: her natural beauty shining through

Do you have any beauty or fashion tips for the ladies?
Well I’m just a natural gal…I towel dry my hair, pinch my cheeks and I’m done. Although I guess I am lucky to be blessed with extremely thick naturally blonde hair…it’s my Irish, Lithuanian, Inuit genes. And my eyelashes are famous for being super thick and luxurious... like Elizabeth Taylor’s, did you know she had three rows of lashes? I have 7. Liz was famous for her eyes supposedly being violet (she was a bosom pal of mine and trust me, in reality the eyes were actually just a weird puce colour, poor girl, she wore those gaudy Kaftan’s and big diamonds to distract people’s attention away from them).

And for the gentlemen?
Very tight white pants, and a white shirt open to the navel. Preferably with a very hairy chest and a medallion. Unlike a lot of people I love a man with back-hair…so don’t wax is my advice. Or alternatively the Liberace look... I’ve always been a sucker for understated masculine elegance.

If you were marooned on a desert island, who would you most like to have washed up on your shore?
It’s already happened, darling. And it was Tab Hunter! A beautiful man and a talented actor (well, a beautiful man anyway). We were in a movie called Strangers in Paradise. Sadly I ended up on the cutting room floor and they re-shot all my scenes with Lassie. Go figure. To be honest I fell for Tab in a big way. But, he just saw me as an object... Not a sex object…just an object.

If you're quick off the mark, you might still catch tickets for Hope's exclusive cabaret - Tuesday 9th to Thursday 11th August - where you can gather more of her pearls of wisdom. Don't say we don't spoil you.

Photographs of Hope by Zoe Hunn
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