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Texas Guinan

Mary Louise Cecilia "Texas" Guinan (January 12, 1884 - November 5, 1933) was a saloon keeper, actress, and entrepreneur.

Born in Waco, Texas, she began her career as a singer on Broadway in New York City. She made her film début in The Wildcat[?] in 1917, the United States' first movie cowgirl[?], nicknamed "The Queen of the West." In addition to her film career, she also had a sojourn in France entertaining the troops during World War I.

Upon the introduction of Prohibition, she opened a speakeasy called the 300 Club. This became famous for its troupe of 40 scantily-clad fan dancers, but also for Ms. Guinan's own personality. Her aplomb made her a celebrity; arrested several times for serving alcohol and providing entertainment, she would always claim that the patrons had brought the liquor in with them, and that the club was so small that the girls had to dance so close to the customers. She steadfastly claimed that she had never sold an alcoholic drink in her life. She capitalized on her notoriety, earning $700 000 in ten months in 1926 while her clubs were routinely being raided.

Ms. Guinan coined a number of phrases, such as "butter and egg men" to refer to her well-off patrons, and her well-known demand that the audience "give the little ladies great big hand". She traditionally greeted her patrons with "Hello, suckers!"

During the Great Depression, Ms. Guinan took her show on the road. She made a sally towards Europe, but her reputation preceded her and her ship was turned away from every port it attempted to dock at. She turned this to her advantage by launching a satirical revue entitled Too Hot For Paris.

While on the road, she contracted amoebic dysentery[?] in Vancouver, British Columbia and died there on November 5, 1933 at the apparent age of 49, exactly one month before Prohibition was repealed.

She was portrayed in a number of movies, including Splendor in the Grass (1961).

The bartender Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation was named for Texas Guinan.

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