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PASSAGES Beverly 'Pudgy!' Wines
2008-01-02

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Female comedy icon Beverly 'Pudgy!' Wines died at her home in Las Vegas of a heart attack on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, according to CabaretHotlineOnline.com .

She had been appearing as part of a revue at The Flamingo Hotel and was relaxing following two performances. She had also suffered a previous heart attack several years ago.

Wines grew up on Chicago's West Side and worked from coast to coast as well as headlining in Las Vegas; Atlantic City, N.J.; and Reno, Nev., the Las Vegas Review-Journal stated.

When Wines began her career as an entertainer, a career that would eventually evolve into 'Pudgy! The Queen of Tease,' female comics were quite rare. She was frequently compared to fellow female comedians Phyllis Diller and the late Totie Fields. Diller said, 'Pudgy was amazingly funny—an original—the perfect person to carry the torch of female comics into the future. There was no one like her. She never used writers. All her material was her own. Unlike most of her 'competitors,' Pudgy! made her mark without relying on four-letter words or vulgarity. Also unlike other funny ladies, Pudgy! could and sing. In fact, songs were an integral part of her comedy.

Chicago resident and Pudgy! fan Gary Chichester stated to Windy City Times that 'Pudgy has always been a friend of Chicago's gay community. From her start as a waitress at the late-night showbiz hangout Punchinello's on Rush to her performance at the first International Mr. Leather, she was always involved with the community both in chicago and her new found home in Las Vegas. She will be greatly missed; she was a one-of-a-kind talent.'

Wines is survived by her husband, Michael Cardella, and her children, Michael, Jr., Melissa and Anthony. She is slated to be buried in Chicago.


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