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Joan Rhodes at her Hampstead home 5 April 2007..Joan Rhodes was very famous in the 1950s and 60s as a strong woman. She performed in cabaret, variety and vaudeville, stunning audiences with her amazing feats of strength. She could bend heavy steel bars that no man in the audience could even dent, she could break six inch nails with her hands, and she could tear the 1000 page London phone book not merely in half, but into quarters. She could lift men with ease, and loved to do so. <>.