“Flesh was born in Seattle in 1933. Her mother, Kaye Brinker, was an actress on radio soap operas. Her stepfather, Manfred B. Lee, was the creator and co-author of the Ellery Queen mystery novels, radio and TV shows and movies. She fell in love with dancing after seeing a performance as a child.
At 17, she got “this harebrained idea to go to Paris to study ballet. My parents let me go, but I didn’t study a lot,” she recalled.
She learned enough to win a position with what was then called Ballet Theatre, and she later became part of the corps de ballet for the Chicago Lyric Opera and toured in the DeMille shows with such stars as Zero Mostel, Barbara Cook and Jeanette MacDonald.