In a tiny town fifteen miles outside of Allentown, PA called Slatington, PA, Renée grew up the youngest of five children. She was raised by a hard working mother who kept a Kosher home, and a father that worked ten, twelve hours a day building a small scrap iron business. In order to keep this Kosher home, (we were one of the seven Jewish families in Slatington) we would travel those 15 miles to Allentown over country roads to get the proper meat. How her mother did it, she will never know.
There was always music in her home. Ruth, her older sister, played the piano and sang. Then Naomi and Dotty, both with lovely voices, followed in suit. Renée remembers many evenings spent around the piano with all the kids joining in except her brother, Dave. Being the only boy, he would hide away as much as he could.
At twelve, Renée begged her parents to allow her to follow in her sister's footsteps and take singing lessons. She would board a bus for Allentown and spend three quarters of an hour with Mrs. Williams. Mrs. Williams suggested that she work with an acting coach in New York, Claudia Frank. Since Renée's dream was to get out of Slatington and show the world she could sing and act, the two and a half hour train ride to New York for lessons was just part of the path.
No matter what it took, Renée was going into showbiz. Through Claudia's coaching she auditioned and was accepted into Carnegie Tech (now known as Carnegie Mellon.) She went on to play Summer Stock at Cain Park Theater each summer and her final year met Albert there.