Golden Age Burlesque

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Dorian Dennis Burlesque Performer

Dorian Dennis had a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from New York University and aspired to become a doctor.  Gossip slinger Lee Mortimer once said she was “five seven and a half in her nylons” and had other notable proportions including a 40 inch bust.

Dorian performed in black and white striptease 8mm films for Irving Klaw and was a high earning dancer in venues in Europe, earning up to $1,200 per week.

Source:  True Burlesque – Dorian Dennis

Source: Jim Linderman’s blog








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dixie evans

Dixie Evans (August 28, 1926 – August 3, 2013) was best known for her Marilyn Monroe tribute show which was a big hit with critics and audiences. However Dixie soon felt uncomfortable with as she was often mistaken for the dead star and finally replaced her tribute act with a parody of Irma La Douce.



dixie evans burlesque

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Blaze Starr (born  January 1, 1932).  Starr’s striking red hair, voluptuous figure and on-stage enthusiasm were a large part of her appeal. The theatrical flourishes and unique gimmicks she used in her stage show went beyond established burlesque routines like the fan dance and balloon dance.

Her trademark routine was “the exploding couch”. As she described in 1989, “I had finally got my gimmick, a comedy thing where I’m supposed to be getting so worked up that I stretch out on the couch, and — when I push a secret button — smoke starts coming out from like between my legs. Then a fan and a floodlight come on, and you see all these red silk streamers blowing, shaped just like flames, so it looked like the couch had just burst into fire.”


blaze starr burlesque

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sherry britton

Sherry Britton (July 28, 1918 – April 1, 2008). Sherry performed in many theatres and clubs during the Golden Age of burlesque. She once said “I despised burlesque.” However, she did enjoy stripping in nightclubs, like Leon & Eddies where she was a regular for seven years. She stripped to classical music, wore lovely long gowns and tiaras and crowns. Although Britton had never attended high school, she was said to have a very high IQ. She attended Fordham and graduated pre-law in 1982, magna cum laude, at the age of 63.



sherry britton burlesque

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Gypsy Rose Lee (February 9, 1911 – April 26, 1970).  Her innovations were an almost casual strip style compared to the herky-jerky styles of most burlesque strippers (she emphasized the “tease” in “striptease”), and she brought a sharp sense of humor into her act as well. She became as famous for her onstage wit as for her strip style, and – changing her stage name to Gypsy Rose Lee – she became one of the biggest stars of Minsky’s Burlesque, where she performed for four years. She was frequently arrested in raids on the Minsky brothers’ shows.


Gypsy Rose Lee burlesque