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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Sep 16th, 2013 06:12 PM
Re: Gussy Moran

Goodbye Gorgeous Gussie: Tennis star Gertrude Moran, who shocked Forties Wimbledon with above-the-knee skirt, dies at 89
  • As a 25-year-old seventh seed in 1949, American player Moran made jaws drop with her high hemline at the All-England Club in London
  • Moran had been suffering from colon cancer, and had just returned to her home in Los Angeles after a long hospital stay
Gertrude 'Gussie' Moran, who shocked the modest midcentury tennis world when she took the court at Wimbledon with short skirt and ruffled underwear, has died at age 89.

Moran had recently returned from a long hospital stay with colon cancer when she died Wednesday night in her small apartment in Los Angeles, said Jack Neworth, a tennis writer who befriended Moran in her final year.
As a 25-year-old seventh seed at Wimbledon in 1949, Moran made jaws drop and flashbulbs pop at the usually staid All-England Club in London when she showed up for her first match minus the knee-length skirt considered proper for women at the time.

Breaking the rules: Gertrude 'Gussie' Moran, pictured on June 22 1949 at Wimbledon when she shocked the tennis world with her daring short skirt, has died at the age of 89

She lost the match, but her striking fashion statement appeared on magazine covers around the world, the British press dubbing her 'Gorgeous Gussie.'
mage issues: Moran, pictured in 2004, would always struggle to be known for more than the skirt and the 'Gorgeous Gussie' moniker she got from the press

'She had no idea what she was getting into,' Neworth said. 'She definitely liked fashion and was very attractive, but she was very naive and hadn't traveled much.'
Moran was ranked as high as fourth in the United States, would be a doubles finalist at Wimbledon and reach the singles semifinals at the U.S. Open., but would always struggle to be known for more than the skirt and the 'Gorgeous Gussie' moniker she got from the British press.
'Gussie was the Anna Kournikova of her time,' tennis great Jack Kramer said in 2002 in the Los Angeles Times, which first reported her death. 'Gussie was a beautiful woman with a beautiful body. If Gussie had played in the era of television, no telling what would have happened. Because, besides everything else, Gussie could play.'
She always preferred to spell her nickname 'Gussy,' but reporters at Wimbledon spelled it 'Gussie' and that version stuck, at least publicly, for the rest of her life.
Gertrude Agusta Moran was born in 1923 to Harry Moran, a sound technician at Universal Studios, and his wife Emma. They lived in a house near the ocean in Santa Monica.

Moran began taking tennis lessons at 11, and later played at Santa Monica High and on traveling junior teams with future luminaries like Kramer and Louise Brough.
After retiring from tennis, she toured with the USO, and was once on a helicopter that crashed in Vietnam. She did various stints on radio and television including a sports talk show for six years in New York.

Moran married three times, resulting in an annulment and two divorces, and had no children.

Bombshell: The fashion-forward tennis player ranked fourth in the U.S. and became a doubles finalist at Wimbledon. Pictured in May 1950 (left) and May 1952 (right)

Warming up: Moran in her dressing room before a match with Pauline Betz at Madison Square Garden, 1950

She returned to live in her childhood home in Santa Monica, but she could not afford to keep it and lost it in 1986. She spent her last years in a tiny, run-down apartment in Hollywood.

'What's wrong with having a good time with your clothes and your body? I was not very comfortable doing so. Maybe it would be different now'

Moran could have called on any number of well-off friends in the tennis world for help, but she refused.
'She was quite proud,' Neworth said. 'But she wasn't bitter.'

Moran always said she wanted red carpet in her house, loving the glamour it invoked.

Before she returned from the hospital for the last time, Neworth said, friends pitched in and had one installed. She died a week later.

The original Anna Kournikova: Tennis great Jack Kramer told the Los Angeles Times that 'Gussie was a beautiful woman with a beautiful body... [and] besides everything else, Gussie could play'

Legacy: Moran, pictured in 1950 (left) and 1968 (right), said she was happy that modern-day players like Kournikova, Maria Sharapova and the Williams sisters were flashy and unashamed in their court fashion

Moran said she was happy that modern-day players like Kournikova, Maria Sharapova and the Williams sisters were flashy and unashamed in their court fashion.
'What's wrong with having a good time with your clothes and your body?' she said in 2002. 'I was not very comfortable doing so. Maybe it would be different now.'

Moran will be cremated, and friends plan to spread her ashes in the ocean, in view of her family home.
Jan 19th, 2013 03:35 PM
Re: Gussy Moran

RIP Gorgeous Gussie.
Jan 18th, 2013 02:31 AM
Re: Gussy Moran

RIP Gorgeous.
Jan 18th, 2013 01:01 AM
Re: Gussy Moran

Oh, I just bumped an earlier thread. Too bad this can't be in GM for a bit. Can it?
Jan 17th, 2013 11:28 PM
Re: Gussy Moran

RIP Gussy
Jul 10th, 2006 11:50 PM
Rollo In the 60s she was still making money off of one controversy-I think this pic is from a shoot on top of a London Department store-notice the railing in the background.

Jul 10th, 2006 11:46 PM
Rollo From an exhibit by photograher Harold Edgerton.

Jul 10th, 2006 11:42 PM

Sounds like the whole thing started because of Wimbledon's famous color ban. LOL@ it being debated in Parliament!

When Wimbledon officials denied Gertrude "Gussy" Moran's request to wear colors in 1950 she didn't get mad, she got even. Designer Ted Tinling created an outfit that shocked the championships: lace-trimmed panties for "Gorgeous Gussy". The undergarment was front-page news worldwide, as well as the subject of debate in Parliament.
Jul 10th, 2006 11:17 PM
The lace that made her famous. I think like Anna Kournikova the focus on her sex appeal hurt her potential as a tennis player. She was a jet setter on sorts for a while, and was engaged many times, once to an Indian maharaja!
Jul 10th, 2006 11:11 PM
Rollo Link to an article on the Betz-Moran pro tour--which lost money and convinced Jack Kramer that women could not carry a tour as the star attractions. Pauline beat up on Moran, often winning by lopsided scores.

Jack said that he and Bobby Riggs tried to talk Pauline into tanking or even "spraining an ankle", making her cry. When Alfa and I asked about this she didn't recall it.

Betz upstaged Gussie on opening night by wearing a leopard print skirt shown in the article.
Jul 10th, 2006 10:59 PM
Rollo Gussie has a brief appearance on court for about 10 minutes in a Spencer Tracy-Kate Hepburn movie called "Pat and Mike". It's a fun movie and you see how they hit the ball back in the day.
Jul 10th, 2006 10:57 PM
Rollo A fuller article with good pics----I bolded some parts..

Over the last year and a half, I have received quite a few notes from readers who are in love with ruffled tennis panties, which they say make them feel very sissy. I have been surprised to discover that few know how this fashion, prominent in the 70s and 80s especially, began. With the Wimbledon Tennis Championships upon us, I thought it would be interested to take a brief look at the player who sensationally started it all.

Gertrude Moran was an American tennis star who played at the Wimbledon Tournament in 1949, and wished to play in a coloured dress set. At this time, and for many years thereafter, the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club had very strict rules about the dress code of players, and playing in anything but pure white was verboten.

Gertrude Moran's answer was to send shock waves around the world, and was to make the 1949 Wimbledon Championships possibly the most widely publicised and fondly remembered in history. On June 20, 52 years ago, she appeared on the hallowed Centre Court wearing (for its day) a short tennis dress with ruffled, lace-trimmed knickers peeping out below the hem. They had been designed and sewn by Teddy Tinling, a former tennis player of note turned fashion designer. Of course he was to become famous in future years for his daring, and ravishingly frilly, tennis outfits for women players, but at this time he was comparatively unknown.

The effect was electric - this was the first time in history that ladies' knickers had been fully and intentionally put on broad public display. The dignified home of the All-England Club was not a burlesque house or music hall. Chaotic scenes developed as photographers fought with each other over back court areas where they could lie flat on the ground to catch the most risque shots
of Gertrude's powerhouse serve for newspapers around the globe.

The conservative members were outraged, but the public loved it; it was much more cheerful fun than watching spoiled whiners like John McEnroe arguing the point with the linesmen would ever be. One member who was lunching with Teddy Tinling berated him with the remark, 'You have put sin and vulgarity into tennis'. However Teddy and Gertrude did the club no harm in gate takings - it was, as one wise-cracking American sportswriter expressed it, a 'box office bonanza'.

Gertrude didn't do as well at Wimbledon as was expected, and years later admitted that the incredible publicity had fatally put her off her game. But her naughty knickers did earn her the sobriquet, by which she was known forever after, of 'Gorgeous Gussie', a reference to her knickers rather than her - she was not outstandingly beautiful, although it would be quite unfair to judge her by the picture at the top of this page. Any woman player under the intense concentration of Wimbledon will look rather grim and severe.

In 1950 she joined Bobby Riggs' professional tennis circuit, and was a huge drawcard on the strength of her saucy frillies. She was also an excellent tennis player of course - she would hardly have been playing in the Wimbledon Championships if it were otherwise. In 1952 she even appeared as herself in a Spencer Tracy - Katherine Hepburn comedy, 'Pat and Mike', directed by George Cukor. There is no doubt that her name would have sent the cinema box office spinning as male patrons lined up to buy tickets. In 1972 she had become a radio host in California, but I do not know what became of her in later years.

One article, discussing many years later an unscheduled nude appearance on Centre Court, evoked memories of 'Gorgeous Gussie':

'This provocative act paled the memory of 'Gorgeous Gussie' Moran who, in 1949, paraded on Centre Court wearing a pair of risqué lacy, ruffled panties under her tennis dress. Designer and tennis aficionado Ted Tinling, who collected ten quid for his trouble, designed and sewed the outfit. The caper almost cost him alienation from Wimbledon, the tournament he loved. The sexy panties were labeled as 'undignified' by the Club. One might wonder what this latest scenario was labeled...'

Gussie Moran was one of the great originals, and she sensationally introduced a fashion in tennis attire that was to last for forty years. It has vanished now, and the politically correct BBC has even banned television shots of female players sighting from below the waist. It is a far cry from the sea of newspaper photographers who lay down on the ground behind the base line, cameras pointing skywards, as Gussie Moran tossed the snow white ball in the air to serve to her opponent. I couldn't find a picture of one of her serves, which is a pity. If any readers can help out, please contact me. Her knickers, I might add, were somewhat different from the ruffle-seated tennis panties of the 1970s. They were longer in the leg, and had few ruffles, but most noticeably had a broad trimming of lace around the leg - they were more like French knickers. When I was young, right up to the 1970s, frilly knickers were, in Britain at least, coloquially referred to as 'gorgeous gussies', in fond memory of probably the most photographed female player in Wimbledon history.

Jul 10th, 2006 10:52 PM
Rollo Link to an article on "Gorgeous Gussy" from 2004--when you read on you'll realize it's an ad for an auction of her signing panties! Hopefully she's better off now. As TrivFun mentioned, it's a pity there isn't a fund for former players down on their luck.

Gussy Moran - A piece of Tennis History. From thrilling the Tennis world with frilly panties to having to auction those panties to raise funds.In 1949, Gussy Moran, a nationally ranked amateur from California, shocked the crowd at Wimbledon by wearing white lace panties designed by Teddy Tinling under her tennis skirt. Cameramen were laying on the ground to shoot photos of her underwear and soon the photos were appearing in publications all over the world. Overnight, "Glamorous Gussy" or "Gorgeous Gussy" was an international celebrity.

PRWEB) June 30, 2004 -- In 1949, Gussy Moran, a nationally ranked amateur from California, shocked the crowd at Wimbledon by wearing white lace panties designed by Teddy Tinling under her tennis skirt.

Cameramen were laying on the ground to shoot photos of her underwear and soon the photos were appearing in publications all over the world. Overnight, "Glamorous Gussy" or "Gorgeous Gussy" was an international celebrity. She went on to play professionally - with the Bobby Riggs tour, appear in movies, broadcast baseball & write articles for numerous magazines.

Today, she lives in California barely getting by on Social Security. A small group of tennis people have taken Gussy under their wing and are raising money to help Gussy improve her standard of living. To that end, she has reluctantly signed a very limited number of lace panties & tennis balls.

Major tennis museums around the world have gladly accepted a pair of Gussy's panties to add to their collections. The remaining items, which are now at auction with Ebay, will be sold with 100% of the proceeds going directly to Gussy.

Included in this auction is the only pair of panties that she signed "Glamorous Gussy", an autographed tennis ball with her complete name, a shadow box to display the panties, a photo of her autographing items earlier this year with Bud Collins & a photo of her holding one of her endorsed tennis rackets.

This is a one of a kind group never to be offered together again. Not only will the winning bidder gain a historic piece of tennis memorabilia for their collection, they will also be helping a lady who gave her life to the sport of tennis.
Aug 13th, 2002 12:42 PM
Sam L Thanx but I've seen that link irma, and all the photos are dead

Rollo, that's a really nice link all the photos are up there and it's really informative.

I thought she was from the 70's or 80's Gosh she's from the 40's!
Aug 13th, 2002 06:38 AM
Rollo Cool link Irma
I put up a link in the 40's thread too. Gussie sure did cause a stir!
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