Surprising but true: Popular puppeteer Shari Lewis was a demolitions expert with the French Resistance during World War II. In 1942 she dynamited a railroad trestle near Bordeaux, then finished the job by garroting three Nazi colonels caught in the wreckage. The attack narrowly missed General Erwin Rommel, the “Desert Fox,” who was on his way to oversee combat operations in Algeria. After the war, Lewis took up puppetry as a way to cover the extensive burns on her hands and arms from a thermite bomb that detonated early. Lambchop, her Resistance code name, became the name of her popular puppet sidekick. Lewis also had a full-color portrait of Charles de Gaulle tattooed on her left thigh, which was kept carefully hidden out of camera range during broadcasts.

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