Hope Dare Davis: Follies Girl and Gun Moll

On October 9 was born Hope Dare (Rose Luetszinger, 1909-1999).

Dare’s offstage life was arguably more colorful than her brief theatrical career. Born in Iowa and raised in Las Vegas, New Mexico (sic), the beautiful redhead came to New York around 1930 to be a show girl. Her first Broadway credit wasn’t until 1933, but in 1932 she is photographed with boxer Jack Dempsey at an opening for a night spot called El Patio. My (educated) guess is that she’d begun as a chorus girl in nightclubs and speakeasies. Then in 1933, she was in the chorus of the George White show Melody, followed by the Ziegfeld Follies of 1934, and Life Begins at 8:40 (1934-35). She had a couple of featured spots in the Follies; she wasn’t just a face in the crowd.

Somewhere in there she began dating J. Richard “Dixie” Davis, mob lawyer and adviser to criminal kingpin Dutch Schultz. When Schultz was murdered in 1935, Davis became boss. In 1937, future New York Governor and Presidential candidate Thomas Dewey, then a special prosecutor, was dispatched to clean up the gangs and Dixie and Hope fled to Philadelphia where they were discovered about a year later, to the delight of the press. Hope was wearing a black wig.  Davis was still married to another woman, whose famous quote was “The redheads always get them, don’t they?” Then Davis turned state’s evidence, did about a year in jail, married Hope, and the two headed west, bankrolled by $20,000 Davis received for writing a book about his experiences. In 1942 the Daily News found the pair running a carrot juice stand in Palm Springs, California.

By 1969, they were living in Bel-Air, California, clearly in the money again, for burglars broke in, stole cash, furs and jewelry and left Hope bound and gagged and tied to a chair. When Davis came home and discovered the scene, he dropped dead of a heart attack.


    • haha, you’re right! I did leave that as a cliffhanger . Yes. I think Dixie had time to call the cops before the heart attack hit. she wasn’t tied up for 30 years!


      • I’m particularly interested in this gal since I played her in one of the Speakeasy Dollhouse shows. I did a little research to find out about the naughty showbiz gals associated with Dutch Schultz at the time. Rosie Rickert (one of her many aliases) stood out. She was a pip!

        Liked by 1 person

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