Abbe Lane

Abbe Lane (born Abigail Francine Lassman;[1] December 14, 1932) is an American singer and actress. Lane was known for her sexy outfits for the times and a sultry style of performing which garnered some minor controversy. In addition, Lane was the fourth wife of famous Latin bandleader and musician Xavier Cugat.

Abbe Lane
Lane in 1961
Abigail Francine Lassman

(1932-12-14) December 14, 1932
Other namesAbbe Marshall
OccupationSinger, dancer, actress

Early years

Born to a Jewish family[2] in Brooklyn, New York, Lane began her career at the age of four as a child actress on Vitaphone and radio. She began singing and dancing on Broadway.[3] On Broadway she portrayed Bobo in Oh Captain! (1958).[4]

Early in her career, Lane was billed as "Abbe Marshall".[5][6] Using that name, she appeared in the Broadway shows Barefoot Boy with Cheek (1947) and As the Girls Go (1948).[7]

Acting and singing

Because of her work in Europe, Lane was known as an actress before she became recognized for her singing and dancing. She had a television program in Europe and made 21 films there early in her career.[8]

In 1952 Lane married bandleader Xavier Cugat, who was 30 years her senior. During the 1950s and early 60s she worked as a nightclub singer and was described in a 1963 magazine article as "the swingingest sexpot in show business."[9] Cugat's influence was seen in her music, which favored Latin and rumba styles. In 1958 she starred opposite Tony Randall in the Broadway musical Oh, Captain!, but her recording contract prevented her from appearing on the original cast album of the show. Eileen Rodgers performed her songs for the cast LP; Lane later recorded her songs on a solo album. Lane made several recordings for RCA Victor and Mercury. She worked with Tito Puente on the album Be Mine Tonight released in 1958. She appeared on talk shows with Cugat until 1963. In 1964, Lane and Cugat divorced. They had no children together during their marriage.[10] That same year Lane married Perry Leff.[11]

Lane attracted attention for her suggestive comments, such as "'Jayne Mansfield may turn boys into men, but I take them from there." She said she was considered "too sexy in Italy". Her costume for an appearance on the Jackie Gleason Show was considered too revealing and she was instructed to wear something else. She was a guest on the television shows of Red Skelton, Dean Martin and Jack Benny.[12]

In the later 1960s Lane starred in several Italian films. She performed on television variety programs such as The Ed Sullivan Show, The Steve Allen Show, The Jack Paar Program, The Mike Douglas Show, The Hollywood Palace, The Joey Bishop Show, The Merv Griffin Show and The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson from the 1950s into the 1970s. She played guest roles in Naked City, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Flying Nun, F Troop, The Brady Bunch, Hart to Hart, and Vega$. Her last movie appearance was in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) in the minor role of an airline stewardess.

Later years

In 1992, Lane wrote the semi-autobiographical novel But Where Is Love? which described the painful memories of a teenage girl married to an older man.[13]

She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6381 Hollywood Boulevard for her contribution to television.


As leader

  • Be Mine Tonight, with Tito Puente and His Orchestra (RCA Victor, 1957)
  • The Lady in Red, with Sid Ramin's Orchestra (RCA Victor, 1958)
  • Where There's a Man, with Sid Ramin and His Orchestra (RCA Victor, 1959)
  • Abbe Lane with Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra (Mercury, 1961)
  • The Many Sides of Abbe Lane (Mercury, 1964)
  • Rainbows (Butterfly Records, 1980)

With Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra

  • Dance Time with Xavier Cugat (RCA Victor, 1953)
  • Cha Cha Cha (Philips, 1955)


Year Title Role Notes
1949A Night of Fame
1953Wings of the HawkElena Noriega
1954Ride Clear of DiabloKate
1955The AmericanoTeresa
1955Chicago SyndicateConnie Peters
1956The WanderersDolores
1956Time of VacationDolores
1956The BachelorHimself
1957Parola di ladroLalla / Adelaide L'amour
1957Susana y yoSusana Garcés
1957The Lady DoctorDottoressa Brigitte Bellomo
1957A sud niente di nuovoJane
1958MaracaiboElena Holbrook
1958Marinai, donne e guaiManuela
1959Totò, Eva e il pennello proibitoEva
1959Sunset in NaplesEugenia Fougère
1959Roulotte e rouletteRossana Possenti
1960I baccanali di TiberioCinthia O'Connor
1960My Friend, Dr. JekyllMafalda
1962Julius Caesar Against the PiratesPlauzia
1963The Lightship
1967The Cricket on the HearthMollTV movie
1983Twilight Zone: The MovieSr. Stewardess(segment "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet")


  • Lane, Abbe (1992). But Where Is Love?: A Novel. Warner Books. ISBN 978-0446515986.


  1. Goodall, H. Lloyd (2006). A Need to Know: The Clandestine History of a CIA Family. Left Coast Press. p. 146. ISBN 9781598740417. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  2. Saunders, Dick (May 7, 1975). "Abbe Lane rebels against her sexy image". The Miami News. Florida, Miami. Chicago Sun Times Service. p. 62. Retrieved 5 February 2019 via
  3. "Abbe Lane: A Child Star Who Grew Up a LOT". Travalanche. December 14, 2017. Archived from the original on 5 February 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  4. "Abbe Lane". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 5 February 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  5. Parsons, Louella (January 25, 1950). "Louella Parsons In Hollywood". Courier-Post. New Jersey, Camden. p. 12. Retrieved 6 February 2019 via
  6. Kilgallen, Dorothy (April 7, 1964). "Cougat Implores Abbe To Return". The Miami News. Florida, Miami. p. 10. Retrieved 6 February 2019 via
  7. "Abbe Marshall". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 6 February 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  8. Pesmen, Sandra (November 21, 1974). "That Beverly Hills housewife is really singer Abbe Lane". The Minneapolis Star. Minnesota, Minneapolis. Chicago Daily News. p. 10. Retrieved 5 February 2019 via
  9. Thistle, Frank (1963). "The Swingingest Sexpot In Show Business". Adam. Knight Publishing. 7 (4).
  12. MacKenzie, Carina (23 June 2010). "Abbe Lane: Hollywood Star Walk". Los Angeles Times.
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