They bump and they grind, they shiver and shake, they'll
writhe on the floor for a share of the take!
"Stripdom's Sexiest Strippers!"
by Frank Thistle
Vol. 1 No. 11, 1957
EVERY EVENING AS dusk
begins to fall, thousands of femme fatales throughout the country stretch
their lithe limbs, heave their bosoms, and prepare to go to work to make
a large segment of the adult male population forget their mundane cares.
These provocative Eves of the evening aren't housewives laboring under
the delusion that the best way to a man's heart is through his stomach,
but realistic-minded gals who know from experience that most men will always
forego a succulent steak repast in favor of a tantalizing torso served
up piping hot.
The lovely creatures we are referring to belong
to the sisterhood of professional teasers commonly called strippers. And
these real live packages of pulchritude, who come in all shapes and sizes,
comprise the most active and uninhibited group of females dedicated to
making the night world go round and round.
So many girls are streaming into the ranks
of stripdom nowadays that a question of vital import to bosom and buttocks
worshippers is being obscured as these red-hot mamas feverishly endeavor
to outdo one another in flashing flesh: namely, who are the sexiest strippers
in stripdom today?
To get the answer to this controversial question--a
constant subject of heated debate among connoisseurs of the bump and grind--this
writer recently conducted a poll for Adam among night club and burlesque
theater managers from coast-to-coast.
Final tabulation of poll results showed that
the ten sexiest strippers in stripdom today are Tempest
Storm, Lili St. Cyr, Lilly
Christine, Julie Gibson,
Lee, Dixie Evans, Winnie
Garrett, Jody Lawrence,
Venus the Body,
and Dolores Del Raye--with apologies to the rest. I personally
love 'em all!
of the chief reasons why night club and theater managers chose buxom, voluptuous
Storm as the leading luminary in stripdom today is because, unlike
most of her ilk, she employs no so-called "gimmicks" in her strip routines.
Copper-tressed Tempest relies solely on her inimitable style
of disrobing--which includes writhings few reptiles could equal--to hold
As one observant theater manager put it: "Tempest
doesn't need to bother with a novel strip act. Men are so wild about her
that they would gladly pay the price of admission to see her even if she
didn't strip at all, but just stood there in only G-string and pasties."
Since her debut in burlesque seven years ago,
the ravishing redhead has, indeed, stormed her way to the heights of stripdom
with the fury of a tempest. Her stock as a stripper has shot up so high
that she has insured her body with Lloyds of London for one million dollars-just
in case anything might happen to her "bread-and-butter."
Capitalizing on her magnetic drawing power
at the box office, the enterprising beauty teamed up with New York promoter
Klaw and starred in a number of strip films. And her capers on
the screen are just as combustible as they are in live performances.
Tempest also reigns supreme
as chairman of the board of directors of an organization formed recently
called the Association for the Advancement and Preservation of the Burlesque
Arts. Each year this physically and financially well-endowed group will
present a "Mickey" (an Oscar-like statuette) to the outstanding performer
in burlesque. Eventually, the public will select candidates for the award,
with agents, musicians and theater and club managers making the final choice.
To get the ball rolling, the organization named Tempest to
be the first recipient of this award and, of course, she graciously accepted
Tempest manages to keep her
audiences enraptured on the strength of her fabulous figure and her calculated
capers. During her act, she slowly unveils her more-than-ample anatomy
with studied precision, spasmodically emitting little shrieks of simulated
ecstasy for added spice. Although no great shakes as a dancer,
outstanding physique keeps her literally out in front of her competitors.
Admirers of Miss Storm
can be grateful to Pete De Cenzies, former owner of the El Rey Burlesque
Theater in Oakland, Calif., for recognizing her potential as a burlesque
nonpareil. On the advice of De Cenzies, Tempest enrolled
at Lillian Hunt's school for strippers in Los Angeles and in short order
jiggled and shook her way to the top.
Undoubtedly, Tempest possesses
the most striking stage name in stripdom. Credit Pete De Cenzies again
for coming up with the moniker of Tempest Storm. It seems
that whenever Tempest started an engagement at the El Rey
Theater (now being torn down to make way for a Freeway), in her early days
as a stripper, a rainstorm would follow. Joking about the coincidence with
her, De Cenzies mentioned that he should begin calling her the storm girl
and, after a few minutes of introspection, the unbeatable stage name of
Storm was conceived.
Last year, Tempest announced
that she was giving up stripping when her commitments were out of the way
in favor of a career as a dramatic actress. When she broke this bit of
news, her fans deluged her with protests. To their delight, several months
later, Tempest exercised a woman's prerogative and changed
her mind, the reason being that an Eastern theater chain offered her a
ten-year contract guaranteeing her the sum of one million dollars for strutting
her stuff during this period.
YOU'VE EVER seen Lili St. Cyr (pronounced sincere) perform,
it shouldn't come as any surprise that the 35-year-old blonde beauty was
voted the number two star in stripdom's galaxy. Lili is one
of the few strippers who parlayed a beautiful body and a lot of luck into
a weekly salary of $85,000.
Born Marie Van Schaak in Minneapolis, Minn.,
she grew up in Eagle Rock, Calif., and by-passed high school for jobs as
waitress, chorus girl, model and, finally, stripper. Taking a tip from
the advertisements which used cheesecake to sell a product, Lili
decided that she, too, had a commodity to sell.
After playing the burlesque circuit for a
number of years, Lili decided she could make a lot more loot
revealing her shapely chassis before the well heeled customers of plush
night clubs than by entertaining the "art lovers" who regularly patronize
burlesque houses. Because she felt that bistro appearances called for a
more intimate and dignified expression of her charms, Lili
concocted a special bubble bath number, an act which soon drew raves from
everyone who saw it.
When her act opens, Lili is
seen undressing in preparation for her bubble bath. After shedding all
her clothes in a most refined fashion, she gracefully hops into a transparent
Venetian bathtub, stretches her long, lithe legs and begins rhythmically
massaging her lush body with soap suds...to the accompaniment of slow,
During her bath, multicolored bubbles appear
to rise from the tub--an illusion created by a motor-driven rotor and an
arrangement of concealed, light bulbs. After "coming clean," she alights
from the tub, rubs herself leisurely with a jumbo-size towel, and then
wiggles into a black lace nightgown. Lili performs her act
seemingly unaware that she is the focal point for a gawking and heavy-breathing
When she made her night club debut at Ciro's
in Hollywood several years ago, her bubble bath routine proved highly interesting
both to the sophisticated patrons and to several representatives of the
law. Lili was subsequently arrested and charged with giving
an indecent performance.
In court, Lili appeared at the
side of Jerry Giesler, one of Hollywood's most nimble legal minds. Giesler,
wise in the ways of influencing juries, called upon witnesses for the prosecution
to demonstrate exactly how Lili wiggled after she got out
of her bath. The antics which ensued were so hilarious that the charge
against the pulchritudinous peeler was reduced to a laughing matter in
the eyes of the jury. After four days of what turned out to be a "legal
circus," the jury brought back a verdict of "not guilty."
Lili works only 26 weeks
a year, but pulls down at least an annual $100,000 despite the fact that
'she spends half of every year resting in her Beverly Hills, Calif., mansion.
Unquestionably, she is the highest-paid performer in the business. Recently,
the owner of the El Rancho Vegas in Las Vegas gave her a five-year contract
guaranteeing her 12 weeks work each year at $5,000 per week.
Lili sums up the reason for
her success by saying: "The fuss people make about stripping keeps me in
IN THE DANCING department--often neglected
by strippers who stress peeling--ADAM'S poll found exotic Lilly Christine,
the Cat Girl, the preferred choice, making her number three in the overall
Ever since 1948, when lissome
was "discovered" at Prima's 500 Club in New Orleans, the talented terpsichorean
has been steadily gaining acclaim.
Lilly was booked into Prima's
500 Club quite by luck. Owner Leon Prima, brother of band leader Louis
Prima had requested the Music Corporation of America to send him some photographs
of showgirls so that he could select one for a four-week engagement with
feature billing at his night spot. When Prima came across a picture of
luscious Lilly, her beauty so impressed him that he decided
to take a chance on her. As it turned out, Lilly proved to
be the hottest attraction he had ever hired!
When producer Mike Todd happened to catch
her act one night while visiting in New Orleans, he was so awed with her
dancing ability and looks that he mentally filed her away for future reference.
When Todd conceived his idea for "Peep Show" (a modern-day version of old-time
burlesque) he didn't waste any time in asking Lilly to star
in the Broadway production. The show was a tremendous success and
became one of the most sought after entertainers in show business.
After seeing Lilly perform,
syndicated columnist Inez Robb wrote: "The audience was awed by this alarmingly
talented dancer with the rotating innards. This estimable girl is equipped
with revolving viscera, like a fourspeed rotisserie!"
Lilly's list of strip acts include
"Getting Gertie's Garter," "Pillow of Love," and, of course, her most famous
number in which she presents her imaginative version of a cat dance. This
sensational routine--from which her nickname the Cat Girl was derived--spotlights
her amazing muscular coordination and matchless interpretive dancing.
JULIE GIBSON, A PERT little brunette
who looks even younger than her 22 years, was given a slight edge over
Lee for the poll's fourth place position. Although a relative newcomer
to the "take-off" trade, the participants in our poll had nothing but superlatives
for the strip-tease artistry of glamorous
Julie got her start in burlesque
as a chorus girl at Boston's Old Howard Theater five years ago. When the
Old Howard shuttered in the spring of 1954, much to the dismay of proper
and not-so-proper Bostonians, she launched her career as a featured stripper.
Julie's debut at The Wedge in Philadelphia was such a hit that
the management promptly signed her to a long-term contract calling for
a threemonths return engagement every year.
In her best-known act, demure
portrays a bashful bride on her wedding night. Billed as "The Dance of
the Bashful Bride," she appears clad in satin and lace under purple lights.
begins her act slowly, bashfully gazing at the audience as she coyly sheds
her garments with the modesty and hesitancy of a virgin.
Suddenly, her pent-up passion overcomes her
inhibitions and she tears off her remaining clothes with abandon. At the
climax of her act, she stands in a transparent peignoir, eagerly awaiting
the fulfillment of her aroused desire with their theoretical husband.
Those who have seen her performance agree
that she couldn't have chosen a more appropriate number in which to display
her sweet and innocent brand of sex appeal to full advantage. And rumor
has it that her bashful bride routine is so convincing that it induces
a number of bachelors who see it to rush headlong into matrimony!
STRIPPER who draws the most gapes of disbelief while taking it off is the
poll's fifth place winner, Jennie Lee, the proud possessor
of an astounding 42-inch bust, one of the biggest in burlesque. Jennie
(no relation to Gypsy Rose Lee), as you might suspect, confesses
that she has had a bust complex since her early teens.
"I started being self-conscious about my big bust at a very early age
because I was more developed than the other girls," says
frankly. "I found out fast that the boys thought my bosom was the eighth
wonder of the world. So after seeing other girls strip, I started thinking
that I might be able to cash in on my outstanding physical characteristic."
And "cash in" Jennie did at
the fat figure of $500 a week. She came to a quick conclusion that her
bosom was her best buddy, financially speaking. Naturally, she wanted to
put her best points forward so she adopted a tassle-twirling act, which
she considers the most effective way to emphasize the standout feature
of her ample anatomy.
After stripping down to long net stockings
and fringed panties, Jennie adroitly wiggles her highly trained
pectoral muscles, thus rotating her tassels with fierce intensity. Exercising
expert command, she alternately shakes her tassels clockwise and counterclockwise
at terrific speed. For her grand finale, she manipulates one tassel clockwise,
and the other counterclockwise with startling precision.
It might be enlightening to add at this point
that Jennie takes the precaution of attaching her pasties
with adhesive tape, just in case her vigorous tassel heavings should cause
them to fly off. Like most girls with overdeveloped mammary glands, Jennie
is on the plump side. But her enthusiastic fans don't seem to mind her
plumpness one bit as long as she stays topheavy.
As one of her ardent- admirers put it: "Lots
of strippers have hourglass figures. But how many have a 42-inch bust ?"
AMONG THE MANY individuals who have profited
by Marilyn Monroe's smashing screen
success is a blonde bombshell named Dixie Evans, known in
the teaser trade as the "Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque."
Until several years ago, Dixie
was just another run-of-the-mill stripper trying to make a name for herself.
Then one morning, when she showed up for work at the Minsky-Adams Theater
in Newark, N.J., she found herself billed on the theater marquee as "The
Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque."
At first, Dixie became very
indignant to think that her name should be connected with the hottest property
in show business--for she wanted to be a star in her own right. And when
she found out that bossman Harold Minsky had dreamed up the idea for her
new billing, she stormed into his office and told him in no uncertain terms
that she wanted no part of the Monroe billing.
Now Harold Minsky is a shrewd business man
and comes from a family long associated with burlesque. He knows that a
clever billing and enough publicity can catapult an unknown stripper into
the big time practically overnight. So Minsky listened to
protests and when her fury had subsided, calmly pointed out to her the
advantages of such an eye-catching billing. Dixie, no dumb
blonde, was quick to see the light and wholeheartedly consented to the
As a result of her new billing,
in stripdom soared. Today she is a headliner. Crowds flock to her performances
to see for themselves if there really is a resemblance between the torrid
teaser and the sexy screen star. And they find that the only major distinction
is that Dixie really takes off her clothes, whereas Marilyn
Monroe only acts as though ,he would like to!
To put over her coup de theatre,
made an intense study of Marilyn's motion pictures in order to assimilate
her mannerisms. In her act, she mimics Marilyn in every detail, from her
studied hip-wriggling walk to her facial expressions.
learned her lessons well; for many people comment after seeing her perform
that Dixie looks and acts more like Marilyn Monroe than Marilyn
WINSOME WINNIE GARRETT of the
flaming tresses is the stripper who captured the number seven spot.
who has been in the business longer than any other stripper picked as one
of the nation's top ten, begins her strip slowly and seductively and winds
up with a red-hot, slambang finish. She plays up her gorgeous hair by letting
it down, rolls her net stockings down and then back up again as though
absent-minded, and gyrates slowly all the while. Her extremely relaxed
and confident manner of stripping comes, of course, from years of practice
and she comes as close to perfection as any girl in the trade today.
Winnie has often used her reputation
as a titillating teaser to promote charitable drives. She has willingly
auctioned off her clothes (undergarments included) in return for $50 and
$100 donations to the March of Dimes and other campaigns. And once the
ravishing redhead starts to reveal her shapely body, the well-heeled men
in the audience become very munificent, indeed.
FILLING THE POLL'S eighth place is 22-year-old
Lawrence, the girl who has brought a New Look to stripdom.
New Look has startled the blasé bump and grind circuit as much as
French designer Christian Dior's New Look startled the fashion industry
a few years ago. And, surprisingly, her New Look somewhat parallels Dior's
in the respect that she is subordinating the exploitation of her body,
a most unusual practice for a stripper.
When you meet her, the first thing that you
notice about her are her sparkling baby-blue eyes (that's when she's fully
dressed, of course). And after a few minutes of conversation she impresses
you as being as sweet and wholesome as "the girl who married dear old dad."
On the street, she could easily be mistaken for either movie star Doris
Day or Janet Leigh.
Jody brings a refreshing New
Look to a business that is quite obviously overburdened with sagging, top-heavy
temptresses. Her bustline measures only 34 inches, but she's not the least
bit "chest-fallen" because Mother Nature didn't endow her with the mammoth
mammaries of a Tempest Storm or
"I just can't understand why women are so
proud of having big breasts," says Jody. "After all, they
had nothing to do with the size of their bosoms any more than they had
to do with the natural color of their hair, unless, of course, they have
resorted to surgery," she adds with a smile, "an operation which I've heard
is very popular among strippers these days."
Jody calls her strip act "The
Little Red-Hot Riding Hood. Since she is always booked at a burlesque theater
as a featured attraction, her number A TRULY HEAVENLY body with a divine
form placed number nine--Venus the Body. While Venus'
name may be out of this world, her strip-teasing is right down to earth.
received her strip-tease savoir-faire while attending Lillian Hunt's School
for Strippers at the New Follies Theater in Los Angeles. According to teacher
Hunt, Venus was a natural stripper who, after she acquired
polish and finesse, became a featured attraction almost overnight and kept
the boys squirming in their seats and yelling for more of her own distinctive
style of strip-teasing.
Venus is now an old pro who
never gets the shakes before she swings into action on-stage, but the first
time she stripped professionally it was a different story.
"I waited nervously in my dressing room, desperately trying to assure
myself that my act would go smoothly and be a success,"
recalls. "I was trembling with fright when the master of ceremonies introduced
me and said I was making my debut as a and As the band began playing, I
parted the curtain hesitantly and began undulating methodically around
the stage, dying of self-consciousness.
"I tried to remain calm and made a feeble
effort not to hurry, although I was anxious to get it over with as soon
as possible. Coquettishly, I slipped off my gown and posed sedately in
only my G-string and net bra. When the audience applauded loudly, I felt
like kissing every one of them, as their applause really gave me confidence.
"The band really gave out during the second-part
of my act, encouraging me to squirm and wiggle with abandon. The theater
was hushed and I figured I was making a big hit--then some wise guy yelled
a sarcastic remark. The crowd guffawed and I blushed profusely with embarrassment.
I flew through the rest of my dance and hastily made an ungraceful exit."
Venus belongs to the school
of strippers that believes in presenting sex artistically, although she'd
be the first to admit that strip-teasing isn't a highly developed form
of art, "A stripper's business is selling sex," says Venus,
"but there are many different ways to sell it. I prefer the subtle approach
rather than the fast approach in which you hit the customers right between
the eyes, so to speak."
STRIPPER WHOSE views about selling sex on-stage are directly opposed to
is exotic Dolores Del Raye, who just squeezed into the poll's
If you were to meet this petite package of pulchritude you would automatically
think her an ordinary working girl because of her wholesome looks and unassuming
manner. The thought that she might be a stripper would probably never enter
your mind. And you would never even dream that she could scare a fly:
But looks are sometimes deceiving, and in the case of
Del Raye they very definitely are--for, oddly enough, this brunette
beauty is a stripper who frightens the yell out of men!
How does she do it? Well, she could hardly
frighten men with her exquisite features and well-rounded body. In fact,
one of her big problems in life is trying to convince men that she should
be looked at but not touched. She managers to frighten men, however, with
a long and nasty-looking bull whip which she uses in her matador dance
routine. And Dolores handles her whip with the professional
skill of a lion-tamer.
Her specialty is teaching hecklers how to
behave and she teaches them, of course, with her bull whip. Like the time,
for example, when she opened at a club in Baltimore recently.
"During my first two performances of the evening,
a portly gentleman sitting at a ringside table kept making wisecracks about
the size of a certain part of my anatomy," Dolores relates.
"It was annoying, of course, but I tried not to pay any attention to him.
During my matador act for the late show, however, this guy made a very
audible remark that was downright vulgar and it made me boil inside.
"I gave him a dirty look but he just sat there
with a fat cigar in his hand roaring with laughter. The only thing I could
think of was how much I'd like to make him stop laughing. The next thing
I knew I had knocked the cigar from his hand with my whip. The fellow let
out a yell and jumped out of his chair, spilling his drink all over himself:
The audience thought it was a big joke and part of my act."
It is lessons like this that make men very
respectful toward Dolores. She doesn't frighten men away
from her show however, because her sex appeal is quite overpowering. And,
points out, some men even enjoy a few lashes from her trusty bull whip!
If there were a Hall of Fame for strippers,
there would be little doubt that the strippers voted the sexiest in ADAM's
nation-wide poll would be selected for a permanent niche. Next time these
runway raves play your city, catch their shows and see if you don't agree.