Sophie Tucker


Biography of Sophie Tucker

Sophie Tucker (January 13, 1886 – February 9, 1966) was a Russian-born American singer, comedian, actress and radio personality. Known for her stentorian delivery of comical and risqué songs, she was one of the most popular entertainers in America during the first half of the 20th century. She was widely known by the nickname "The Last of the Red Hot Mamas."

Tucker was born Sonya Kalish (Russian Соня Калиш) to a Jewish family in Tulchyn, Russian Empire, now Vinnytsia Region, Ukraine. Her family emigrated to the United States when she was an infant, and settled in Hartford, Connecticut. The family changed its name to Abuza, and her parents opened a restaurant.

She started singing for tips in her family's restaurant. In 1903, at the age of 17, she was briefly married to Louis Tuck, from which she decided to change her name to Tucker. She bore a son with Tuck, named Bert. (She would marry twice more in her life, but neither marriage lasted more than five years.)

She continued performing in the U.S. and the United Kingdom until shortly before her death from lung cancer in 1966, at the age of 80. She was interred at Emanuel Cemetery in Wethersfield, Connecticut.

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