Legendary Burlesque Stars (1920s-1950s)

by BatBanks | created - 25 Dec 2013 | updated - 26 Mar 2014 | Public

Not particular order

1. Josephine Baker

Actress | Zouzou

Josephine Baker was born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, MO, in 1906 to Carrie McDonald, a laundress, and Eddie Carson, a musician. Her early life hinted at her future career. She first danced for the public on the streets of St. Louis for nickels and dimes. Later she became a chorus girl on...

2. Ann Corio

Actress | Swamp Woman

The beautiful Ann Corio appeared in a less than a handful of poverty row exotic films, but her real stardom was on the stage, over a period of twenty years. She was a hugely popular striptease artist, best known for her work at Minsky's Burlesk Theater in New York. In 1940, she was making around ...

3. Gypsy Rose Lee

Actress | Belle of the Yukon

Born Rose Louise Hovick in Seattle, Washington, in 1911, but called Louise from early childhood, Gypsy Rose Lee was the daughter of a mild-mannered businessman and a restless, fiery young woman named Rose, who was determined to get out of Seattle and make a life for herself and her daughter in show...

4. Bettie Page

Self | Striporama

Bettie Page's life was filled with cult myth, mystery and sadness. Her image captured the imagination of a generation with her free spirit and unabashed sensuality, during an era of strong sexual repression. She was the quintessential pin-up, tacked up on walls in military barracks and garages; ...

5. Blaze Starr

Actress | Blaze Starr Goes Nudist

Legendary stripper and burlesque dancer Blaze Starr was born Fannie Belle Fleming in 1932 in Wilsondale, West Virginia. Her parents were Lora Evans and Goodlow Mullins. She had ten siblings. Blaze left home and moved to Washington, DC while only in her mid-teens. She was discovered by her first ...

6. Sally Rand

Actress | Sunset Murder Case

She's considered an American icon in the world of entertainment although most contemporaries have no idea who she is until her legendary risqué "fan dance" is brought up. Then they put two and two together. Burlesque star Sally Rand was born in the Ozark region (Missouri) in 1904, her father a ...

7. Lili St. Cyr

Actress | Cinderella's Love Lesson

Busty, highly painted blonde Lili St. Cyr was a notorious striptease artist of the 1940s and 1950s who replaced Gypsy Rose Lee and Ann Corio on the burlesque queen pedestal. Lili actually took the stripper out of burlesque and put her squarely on the Las Vegas stage. She was also noted for her ...

8. Tempest Storm

Actress | Mundo depravados

A staple for many years at the El Ray Berlesk theater in Oakland, Tempest Storm had a name suiting her past. She had run away from her home in Eastman, Georgia, after surviving abuse as a child and a rape by a local gang. Ariving in Studio City, Tempest got along well, managing not only on her ...

9. Dixie Evans

Actress | Smut

Dixie Evans was born on August 28, 1926 in Long Beach, California, USA as Mary Lee Evans. She was an actress, known for Smut (1999), Mafia Girls (1969) and Too Hot to Handle (1950). She was married to Harry Braelow. She died on August 3, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

10. Fanny Brice

Actress | Be Yourself!

Fanny Brice was a popular and influential American comedienne, singer, theatre and film actress, who made many stage, radio and film appearances but is best remembered as the creator and star of the top-rated radio comedy series, The Baby Snooks Show. Thirteen years after her death, she was ...

11. Mae West

Actress | She Done Him Wrong

Mae West was born in Queens, New York, to "Battling Jack" West and Matilda Doelger. She began her career as a child star in vaudeville, and later went on to write her own plays, including "SEX", for which she was arrested. Though her first movie role was a small part in Night After Night (1932), ...

12. Sherry Britton

Writer | The Best of Burlesque

Fleeing an adolescence marred with domestic violence, foster homes and an abusive first husband, Sherry Britton started stripping at the age of fifteen at the People's Theater on the Bowery in Lower Manhattan. She received ten cents a performance. Along with her physical attributes -- an 18" waist;...



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