June St. Clair - The Platinum Princess: vintage newspaper ad
June St. Clair was born Geraldine (‘Jerry’) Margaret Ford in MA on 6 Oct 1913. The family moved to NYC during the depression to find work and soon Geraldine and her sister, Helen, were hired as chorus girls. They both went on to become burlesque dancers, Geraldine billed as ‘June St. Clair’ and Helen as ‘Helen Colby’. For a while they billed themselves as a singing and dancing act called the Ford Sisters, but this did not bring in as much money as June St. Clair’s solo career, so she went back to burlesque. June was a modest woman and did not enjoy her burlesque career and never dated in the earlier years. According to both June’s family, and other dancers that knew her, after going back to her solo career (1948), June had gotten into an abusive relationship, became pregnant (many say she was raped), and she discovered that the father of the child was married already. Unfortunately, on 21 Oct 1949 June St. Clair committed suicide in a NYC hotel room; it was her 3rd documented attempt to kill herself. In a suicide note she left for her brother she refers to having “disgraced you all”, meaning her family.
Harriet Hoctor (center): vintage 8x10 movie still from the film The Great Ziegfeld (1936).
Harriet was a classically trained ballerina and studied under Louis H. Chalif at the Normal School of Dance in New York city. At the age of 16 Harriet was performing on the vaudeville circuits, where she was seen by Florenz Ziegfeld. She would work off on on with Ziegfeld, and this image was actually a promo photos for her appearance, as herself, in the 1936 film The Great Ziegfeld. In the 1940s, she pair with Billy Rose and worked as a choreographer at his New York clubs, including the Diamond Horseshoe. Harriet also opened a dance school in Boston, MA, but she continued to work with Billy Rose and traveled to New York for shows. She died at the age of 71 on 9 June 1977.
Rosita Royce: vintage 8x10 photo
Rosita was best known for performing with trained dove which were released in the balcony and flew down tot he stage. The doves were then trained to untie ribbons that held Rosita’s costume on and fly away with sections of her sheer costume. Rosita also performed with parrots and early in her career, as seen her, she did a bubble dance similar to Sally Rand.
Marion Morgan: vintage 7x9 news service photo dated 15 January 1939
The information on the back reads:
POLICE SAID THAT HER ACT WAS NAUGHTY
Marion Morgan, 24 year old “Strip-teaser” at a theater here is shown in court, where, with two other persons, she is on trial for putting on an assertedly indecent performance. A jury will decide the question of “when is a risque act too risque”. Arresting policemen said that the act in which she played was so “naughty” that they blushed when making the arrest.