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Dagnar - The nickname of Virginia Ruth Egnor (Her acting name was Jennie Lewis), a statuesque blonde bombshell and former fashion model who was a regular on the talk variety show BROADWAY OPEN HOUSE/NBC/1950-51.

Virginia Ruth Egnor as Dagmar

Program host Jerry Lester renamed Virginia "Dagmar" for her walk on parts which featured humorous poetry readings done in deadpan. Reportedly, just before the June 14, 1950 broadcast of the program, Jerry Lester told the five-foot, eight and a half-inch Jennie Lewis "You just sit there next to the orchestra and look dumb. Your name is Dagmar."

Darnar's success as a performer was stated eloquently in an article in Huntington Quarterly magazine (Issue 35) which read:

"The secret of Dagmar’s success was a star quality that transcended sex appeal. Beneath the bust line and the punch line beat the heart of the nicest hometown girl you would ever want to meet. And to a generation of men separated from home — and from mothers, and sisters, and wives and sweethearts — Dagmar was American womanhood in its most appealing outward form. She was the farmer’s daughter and the Pretty Girl come to life. She was nothing less than an icon — a living, breathing example of the pinups painted on the noses of U.S. military aircraft during World War II and Korea."

One evening in 1951 while performing, Dagmar's strapless gown slipped off her bosomy body, exposing her private parts. She later starred on DAGMAR'S CANTEEN/NBC/1952 where she repeated her hilarious tributes to literature by reading "original" silly plays to an audience of military servicemen.

When FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover asked Dagmar to reveal her measurements, she responded, “I refuse to answer on the grounds that it might incinerate me.” Celebrity Sleuth magazine reports her figure stats as 42-23-39. Life magazine called Dagmar a “national institution.” A nationwide poll of editors in the 1950s voted Dagmar “the most photogenic girl on TV.”

Other Dagmar credits included appearances on MILTON BERLE'S TEXACO STAR THEATER (as a nurse), MASQUERADE PARTY (as a panelist), and HOLLYWOOD SQUARES (a guest), and a notable appearance on an April 22, 1964 segment of THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW (as a guest).

Dagmar also guest-starred on TV’s first telethon with Milton Berle and Walter Winchell (who christened her “Dagmarvelous”) and on Bob Hope's very first TV show with Dinah Shore, Walter Pigeon, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Frank Sinatra (with whom she recorded a song.).

Born in West Virginia on November 29, 1921, Dagmar died of natural causes in Ceredo, West Virginia on October 9, 2001. During her lifetime, Dagmar married three times to husbands Angelo Lewis, Danny Dayton and Dick Hinds.

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