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Jeanette Schmid, 80, of Austria, professional whistler

VIENNA -- Jeanette Schmid, Austria's last professional whistler, died of the flu in her apartment here, the newspaper Kurier reported Thursday. She was 80.

Ms. Schmid, better known as Baroness Lips von Lipstrill, was born a man in what now is the Czech Republic. She underwent a gender change in 1964 in Cairo, where she lived for 15 years.

She embarked on a whistling career during a visit to Tehran to perform as a dancer for the shah of Iran. Her dance costume was deemed too skimpy, so she changed and whistled a Johann Strauss Jr. polka instead.

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