Patti Paget: vintage 4x5 Irving Klaw photo
Patti was a popular burlesque dancer in the 1950s, a popular pin up model for Irving Klaw’s business, and also appeared in Klaw’s 1956 film Buxom Beautease.
Noel Toy - The Chinese Sally Rand: vintage 8x10 news service photo from 1941. Noel is showing off the fans she provided to perform with at a Chinese War Relief Benefit (WWII). Originally she refused to perform as she said the fans were too small and not dense enough, but the show must go on!
Noel Toy was born Ngun Yee on 27 December 1918 in San Francisco to parents from Canton, China. In 1939, while attending University of California - Berkley, Noel was hired to perform as a chorus girl at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. Noel performed in the Chinese village portion of the expo’s Pageant of the Pacific, a celebration of the nations of the Pacific Ocean. Charlie Low, the owner of the Forbidden City - a Chinese nightclub in San Francisco - saw Noel at the exposition and approached her about dancing at his club. Noel began performing at the Forbidden City in 1940. She gracefully performed with large ostrich fans, and was quickly dubbed “The Chinese Sally Rand”. Perhaps capitalizing on this nickname, Noel also began performing a bubble dance with a large transparent balloon, another well-known Sally Rand act.
Within a few years, Noel was on the East Coast if the USA, performing in the most popular New York nightclubs including Leon and Eddies, the Stork Club and The Latin Quarter. While performing at Lou Walter’s Latin Quarter, Noel caught the eye of young soldier and actor, Carleton Young and the couple married in December 1945. Once married, Noel retired from burlesque dancing and followed her husband into acting. She had parts in several movies alongside actors like Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, and Betty Grable. Though Noel primarily quit acting in the mid-1950s, she would occasionally accept bit parts in shows like Police Woman and M*A*S*H, and a few films as well. Noel and Carleton remained married until his death in 1994. Noel died in 2003, at age 84, and her and Carleton’s ashes are interred together at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
The Ray Sisters (Yolande & Yvonne): vintage 6x8 photo
The Ray sisters were a vaudeville duo that were most popular in the 1920s. They performed mainly in London and Paris.
Joan Warner: Vintage 7x9 news service photo dated 11 February 1935
Joan Warner is shown entering the Palais de Justice in Paris France to answer to obscenity charges for dancing in the nude (with fans!) at the Bagdad Restaurant in Paris, France. Joan was 22 at the time of the trial. In a rather ironic twist, the group that filed the complaint against Joan and the restaurant was the “National Alliance for the Increase of the French Population”. Seems like a group wishing to ‘increase the population’ of France would be all for risque dinner shows!!
Sally Rand: vintage 7x9 news service photo dates 1 October 1941
This photo accompanied the engagement announcement of Sally Rand and Thurkel (Turk) Greenough, who was a star rodeo rider. Ironically, Turk was edited out of the photo, because in the original, he is standing to her left.