Peacock’s biographical drama series ‘Angelyne’ follows the life of the eponymous Los Angeles “billboard celebrity,” who went on to become a singer, actress, and media personality. The early episodes of the show center around Angelyne’s growth as a celebrity, garnering attention from all around the world. The news coverage of the “Angelyne phenomenon” astounds Danny Katz, her ex-husband.
Danny travels from Morocco to Los Angeles and meets Angelyne with her personal belongings. Since Danny’s existence is nothing but a revelation, especially considering the mystery that revolves around Angelyne’s past, we set out to find more about him. Here’s everything we found!
Who is Danny Katz?
The character Danny Katz is allegedly based on Michael Strauss, the ex-husband of real-life Angelyne. Strauss was born into a Beverly Hills-based Jewish family. He met Angelyne (known as Renee Tami Goldberg at the time) through mutual friends while she was a Westside resident. “She [Angelyne/Renee] was the most gorgeous redhead. She was unique, beautiful, smart,” Strauss told The Hollywood Reporter’s Gary Baum. Following their wedding in the late 1960s, they went on to live with Angelyne’s younger sister Annette and her first husband at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.
Angelyne and Strauss’ married life lasted short and ended with an amicable breakup. After Strauss’ break up with Angelyne, he began a traveling expedition and only returned to LA in the mid-1970s. “I hooked up with Renee again, and she was Angelyne. I wasn’t there when she made the transition. All of a sudden, big boobs, blond hair, this voice — the voice used to make me nuts. It didn’t compute with who I’d known she was,” he revealed to Gary Baum. Strauss was an entrepreneur at the time and believed that Angelyne did not achieve the financial success she could have achieved.
“She [Angelyne] invented this marvelous, crazy, out-of-this-world character but couldn’t fully sell it,” Strauss told Gary Baum. Still, the ex-husband was rooting for his ex-wife’s success. “I was always a Renee rooter: ‘Come on, girl, take it to the next level!’ But she only had the capacity to take it so far,” he added. In the early 1990s, the former couple met again, this time for Strauss to return some of her personal belongings like photos and documents. However, his ex-wife wasn’t interested in them.
Strauss continued, “[…] she [Angelyne] didn’t want them, and I wasn’t just going to throw them away. I mean, what if she eventually wanted them back? Except she never did. I saw her in the early 1990s, and I said, ‘I have these things.’ She didn’t want them. She wanted nothing to do with it. She’d created another life.”
Where is Danny Katz Now?
As of 2017, Michael Strauss was living in Carlsbad, a coastal city in San Diego County, California. At the time, he lived with his family after having a successful career as a manufacturer of acrylic furniture. Strauss shared that he refrained from publicly speaking about Angelyne until Gary Baum contacted him for the journalist’s exposé. In 2016, a DMV investigator reached out to him to corroborate Angelyne’s real identity when she applied for a new driver’s license as well.
Strauss was a pivotal source of Gary Baum’s 2017 feature that revealed Angelyne’s real identity. He shared several photographs of his ex-wife with Gary, which the latter used in his feature. Angelyne did not react well to Strauss’ involvement in Gary’s exposé. “[Strauss] will be saying things just to get his name out there. I can’t blame him. It’s OK,” she told LA Weekly. “I’ve got a lot of fame and if he wants to take some of it, that’s fine. I hardly know the guy,” she added. But, in contrast to Angelyne’s claim, the ex-husband has chosen to keep his life private, barring the exception of Gary’s interview with him.