Why was she hiding the fact that she was born in Poland? The Polish website Fakt demanded to know a week ago. The subject of Polish ire this time was Angelyne, an American singer, actress, media personality, and model who became famous in 1984 with a series of iconic billboards she paid for and placed in and around Los Angeles, each bearing only one word: “Angelyne,” and one of her suggestive poses. She soon received offers to star in films, give magazine interviews, and appear on television shows. The main trademark of her celebrity persona was a pink Corvette.
The five-episode Peacock TV limited series “Angelyne” starring Emmy Rossum follows the billboard blonde bombshell in what the Daily Beast described as a “murky journey through fact and fiction that is as puzzling and captivating as the woman herself.”
Angelyne’s real identity was exposed in a 2017 Hollywood Reporter article by Gary Baum (The Mystery of L.A. Billboard Diva Angelyne’s Real Identity Is Finally Solved): she was born in Poland as Ronia Tamar Goldberg, the child of Holocaust survivors who, after being liberated from a Nazi concentration camp returned to post-war Poland and later settled in Bnei Brak, Israel, where her younger sister, Annette, was born, before immigrating to the United States. They moved to the Fairfax, Los Angeles, where Goldberg attended James Monroe High School and was married briefly.
Her mother, Bronia, reported to Yad Vashem that she had lost more than 40 relatives in the Holocaust, including her father, three brothers, and a sister. Shortly after liberation, she and Hendrik Goldberg married in the Foehrenwald displaced persons camp in Germany. They were eventually repatriated to Poland, which remained hostile to Jews after World War II, hence the move to Israel.
“Perhaps we will also learn from the series why Angelyne hid her identity for many years,” writes Fakt, which uses a particularly accusatory tone to reveal: “At all times, Angelyne hid her real name, age, and origin. She has vaguely explained in interviews that she was born in the Midwest and that she had lost her parents as a child.” Instead of being true to her past, as a Jewish child from Chmilenik. “Angelyne completely changed her image, undergoing plastic surgery,” the Polish website says.
It’s difficult for Poles to understand that most people would rather not be recognized as being Polish. Jews because of the Holocaust, and non-Jews because, you know, the Polish jokes.
Incidentally, that plastic surgery bit was to greatly enhance Goldberg’s physical features, which is why we weren’t able to embed here the Peacock TV trailer. The series was aired this month.
Also: in April 2021, Angelyne announced plans to run in the 2021 California gubernatorial recall election (they seem to hold one every year or so). But she only received 0.5% of the vote. Probably overseas ballots from Warsaw…