Sally Rand: vintage 8x10 photo
Sally was born Hattie Helen Gould Beck in Elkton, Missouri. She studied dance as a child and as a teenager, briefly worked as a chorus girl at the Empress Theater in Kansas City, but her sights were set on Hollywood. Once in Hollywood, young Helen acted in plays and in silent films and briefly used the name Billie Beck. It was when she met famed director and producer Cecil B. DeMille that she got her now famous stage name - Sally Rand. Reportedly, DeMille was inspired by a Rand McNally atlas. Sally was a successful silent film actress, appearing in over 20 films, but she spoke with a lisp and her Hollywood career ended when ‘talkies’ became popular. In need of re-inventing herself, Sally became a burlesque dancer and most famously appeared at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Sally went on to produce her own shows, including the famous Nude Ranch at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco in 1939/40, and to own her own club - The Musicbox in San Francisco. Not one to slow down, Sally continued to perform her famous fan dance right into the 1970s.
Virginia Bell: as scanned from the July 1959 issue of Follies magazine.
Virginia began her career as a pin up and nude model in the 1950s. She would also appear in several stag films, and nudie short loops, some of which were made at the request of her then husband Eli Jackson. Using the monikers such as “Ding Dong’, to play up her 46” bust (sometimes said to be 48”), she started dancing in burlesque in the late 1950s, and she was an instant success because so many men already knew her as a nude model. She would also appear in the 1961 film Scanty Panties and the 1964 burlesque film Lullaby of Bareland.
Charmaine: vintage arcade card
She had originally danced in burlesque under the stage-name in Charmaine, but this photo is from 1943 when she became the principal dancer for the ‘reborn’ Ziegfeld Follies. During her time appearing with the Follies (1943 & 1944) she would be billed as Christine Ayres.
Genii Young: vintage 8x10 photo
Genni was a burlesque dancer that briefly crossed over to Hollywood. She appeared in three films: Bagdad After Midnite (1954), Strips Around the World (1955) and Not Tonight Henry (1960).
Dolores Dawn: vintage 7x11 news service photo dated 27 June 1936 and used to promote Dolores appearance at Colosimo’s in Chicago.
The cut line on her leg was where the news paper’s photo editor added lamp black to the photo to make it look like her dress covered her from the cut line up — for censors. I was able to remove the lamp black, but unfortunately I uncovered the cut in the photo…boo!
Winsome Wynette: vintage 8x10 photo signed to fellow burlesque dancer Diane Raye.
Wynette married to burlesque emcee Don Hart in Chicago in 1946. By 1947, Don Hart was the local American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA) representative in Milwaukee, MN where he managed to unionize all the night club venues and booking agents. Don would go on to become the District manager for AGVA and he was based in Saint Louis. During Don’s climb within AGVA, Wynette continued to perform as a striptease artist both locally and occasionally still touring the circuits.
Maxine Holman: vintage 8x10 composite photo featuring Maxine and her half and half act with her Educated Wolf. The act was also commonly billed as the “Lady and the Wolf” or “Wolf Girl”.