The Hollywood Hills has always been home to some very interesting characters.  One of my favorites was Madame Etienne.

Her maiden name was Kathryn Charisse. She was born in Greece, and raised in Paris.  Her mother, Calliope Charisse is in the photo above with her ten children performing at the Hippodrome Theatre in New York in 1924. Madame Etienne is in the back row, fourth from the right.  Her brother  Nico Charisse was the husband of Cyd Charisse. The entire Charisse family performed as a dance troupe  on the vaudeville circuit.  She lived up the street on Carmen Avenue and ran a famous Hollywood ballet studio. In the photo below she is 62.

She was always dressed in a flamboyant outfit, always in  full make up and she always wore  a tiara.  She never ate a meal at the restaurant since she did all her own cooking at home.  And she was in her nineties. She and her young companion, Brent Wilday, would come to the Coffee Shop in the late afternoon to have  ice cream.

The Charisse Family

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