Sally Rand: vintage 8x10 photo
I believe this was a promotional photo for a movie, but I do not know which of her films it was from. If anyone recognizes it…let me know, please!!
Syra Marty - The Swiss Miss: vintage 8x10 photo
Syra was born Josefina Magdalena Marty in Switzerland. In 1948, Syra and her Husband/manager Billy Frick moved to Los Angeles where Syra worked as a dancer at the Can Can Follies Theater. Syra would go on to be a well known burlesque dancer, frequently photographed pin up and even appeared in three films.
Noel Toy - The Chinese Sally Rand: as scanned from a vintage Forbidden City nightclub program.
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.
Sally Rand: signed, vintage 8x10 photo
Who has the best tail feathers?!?!? Sally is shown perched atop an ostrich, while holding one of her ostrich feather fans behind her.
Joan Warner: vintage 8x10 photo from August 1935
Joan had been fined 50 francs in Paris for performing a nude fan dancer. Though in her defense, she DID explain to the judge she was not at all nude — rather, she was covered head to toe with white body make-up. Her notoriety was so great after the court case, she received offers to dance all over Europe, and a few marriage proposals, as well.
Joan Warner: vintage 7x9 photo, signed in Paris, France 24 March 1935.
Joan began fan dancing in the United States, as a rival of Sally Rand’s, but after an appearance in New Orleans, she was approached about going abroad. Joan danced primarily in Paris and in 1934 was arrested for ‘offending public modesty’ while dancing at the club Bagdad. The case went to trial in July 1935 and Joan was fined 50 francs for dancing in the nude. Though, in her defense, she told the judge she was covered head to toe in white make-up.
Sally Rand: vintage 8x10 news service photo dated 18 July 1934
Sally is shown here with two other dancers from her show at the Italian Village at the Chicago World’s Fair - A Century of Progress. The fair spanned the years of 1933 and 1934. In 1933 Sally performed her famed fan dance at the Streets of Paris Exhibit, but in 1934 she moved her show to the Italian Village — both were entertainment attractions at the fair.
Barbara Belmore: vintage 8x10 photo
This is the stuff of a Perry Mason episode! Photos of Barbara were found in the possession of Rene Cote, after he was found murdered. Turns out Mr. Cote, a married man, had been dating burlesque dancer Barbara Belmore on the sly…of course, telling her he was single. Barbara had a date with Mr. Cote the night of the murder and was the last person to see him alive. So, of course, Barbara was initially a suspect, but later cleared, but she was still a witness at the murder trial. After many twists, it was found that Mrs Bertha Surprise Cote bludgeoned her husband to death when he returned home from his date with Miss Belmore on the night of 28 December 1946.