Baby Lake: vintage 8x10 photo
Baby Lake started her burlesque career as a dancer at Lou Walters’s famous Latin Quarter nightclub in New York city. However, Baby also toured as a burlesque performer, as this photo is marked as having been used by the Miami Herald to create a newspaper ad for an appearance. Baby was also a popular model for New York based Irving Klaw’s Movie Star News in the mid 1950s.
Georgia Holden: vintage 8x10 photo
Georgia as born, Georgia Michaelski to parents of Polish and Dutch heritage. Little is known of her early lie, but in the late 1950s/early 1960s she began appearing as a pin up model and strip-tease dancer. She would go on to have a brief role in Singing in The Rain and work as choreographer on other films. Georgia died of cancer in 1971, and it is claimed that the cancer was caused by lead-based gold paint she wore when dancing as a golden statue.
Rita Ravell - The Mexican Spitfire: signed, vintage 8x10 photo photo
Rebecca Penalver, born of Mexican parents, would become a well-know burlesque dancer and pin up model of the 1950s. Rebecca would be a natural to enter show business, as her father was employed as a show promoter. Under the stage name Rita Ravell she was billed as either the “Mexican Spitfire” or “The Latin Temptress”, and on occasion “The Hot Tamale”. She had been trained originally in traditional Mexican folk dance and reportedly, she appeared as a folk dancer in a few films in the Mexican film industry. When developing her burlesque acts, Rita would use themes from her traditional latin dancing experience to create a dance she would refer to as a “fantasy on Mexican numbers”. Initially Rita danced in clubs in Mexico and Puerto Rico, and then toured with the USO for 3 years, before becoming a feature dancer in the United States.
Ann ‘Bang Bang’ Arbor - The Million Dollar Figure: vintage 8x10 photo
Ann was a classically trained dancer and originally a member of the Alexis Kaloff Ballet troupe. However, when Kaloff died of a heart attack while the troupe was performing in Boston, MA, Ann and her mother found themselves stranded - their home was Detroit, MI. Hence Ann entered burlesque to make money quickly, and must have enjoyed it because she went on to become a popular attraction at the Minsky theaters in both Chicago (Rialto) and Miami (Beachcomber).
Ann Corio: vintage 8x10 photo
Ann was born 29 November 1909 to Italian immigrants in Hartford, Connecticut. She was still in her teens when she bagan working as a showgirl, and was soon an extremely popular feature dancer. She appeared at Minksy’s in New York and was a crowd favorite at the Old Howard Theater, in Boston, MA. In the early 1940s, Ann left burlesque and moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. Ann would go on to appear in 5 films: Swamp Woman (1941), Jungle Siren (1942), Sarong Girl (1943), The Sultan’s Daughter (1944) and Call of the Jungle (1944).
Like many others, Ann Corio retired from burlesque when she felt the shows were becoming less classy. Two decades later, to celebrate the heyday of burlesque, Ann Corio and Michael Iannucci developed and produced the show This Was Burlesque. It debuted in Boston, MA, in 1961, but by 1962 the show was a huge success in New York city. Various version of the show ran for almost 30 years; it was on Broadway twice, toured the country and spawned two HBO specials. Another result from the legendary This was Burlesque show — Ann Corio and Michael Iannucci were married, and they remained married until here death in 1999.
Val de Val - The H Bomb of Burlesque: vintage 8x10 photo.
Val de Val began her dancing career as part of the Ernie Young Traveling Roadshow. She would go on to dance in the Ziegfeld Follies and numerous other Burlesque shows and theaters throughout her career, where she was billed as “The H Bomb off Burlesque” or “The Liberator”. Vale de Val retired from dancing in the late 1950s when she married. Having always had a love for art, Val went on to teach painting - watercolors, acrylic and oils - in Niles, MI where she settled after retirement. She also was an accomplished painter herself, and exhibited her work throughout Michigan and Indiana.
Val de Val’s sister was also a burlesque dancer, working under the name Helena Gardner.
Patricia Perry: vintage 8x10 photo
Patricia was married to George Corwin, who was one of the sons from the Four Corwins management company. George would eventually leave management and become a comic straight man and travelled the burlesque circuit with his wife. Patricia was also an aspiring singer, and would often include a record of her singing along with her replies to fan mail.