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These are people who were performing during the last decades of burlesque, by or before 1965. Several members of the group have given The Golden Days of Burlesque Historical Society EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS to sell these particular photos. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase autographed photos directly from those who performed on the various burlesque stages across the country and the world…we know we'll hear from each and every one of you!

We are also looking for a photo of the “original” Electra, from Gypsy Rose Lee fame, in her Electric Light Costume…
I KNOW there is one out there!


HOW TO CONTACT THESE PERFORMERS…write them a letter and send it to me in a stamped envelope. Include $1 for EACH letter…if you don’t include $1 your letter will not be mailed on! They wiill handle things from that point on. Autographed photos: $20 each, plus $3 for shipping... money goes directly to these performers, many who need the extra income..


SOME OF THESE DANCERS ALSO HAVE TOPLESS OR NUDE PHOTOS AVAILABLE FOR MORE THAN $20…ask if interested! They all have different poses and photos available—not all could be shown here. Just be aware of that when you order photos.

YOU NEED TO CONTACT THEM BEFORE SENDING MONEY! Money Orders or even cash are preferred…some will have a separate name that Money Orders will have to be made out too—SO PLEASE ASK! Some also have email addresses where you can contact them…you may want to ask about that as well. Send mail and letters to be forwarded on to:

Jane Briggeman
532 Chase Blvd. #1 Sun Prairie, WI 53590

We are also seeking donations to help with the costs of the BHS paperwork, web site, and newsletters. The newsletters keep the legends connected. I think most of us agree that as we age, itís still nice to get a letter in the mail.

Pat Elliott

Pat Elliott — after studying dance in NYC, Pat performed in theaters, clubs and in Las Vegas Production Shows from 1963 to 1967, at which time she married burlesque producer Harold Minsky. Upon their marriage Pat worked behind the scenes, learning the business end of producing the Minsky Shows. After Harold’s death in 1977, Pat went on to co-produce two shows under the Minsky banner. She has remained active with charities and has produced her own photography show. Pat continues to dance on occasion, and does some theater and modeling as well. She produces glass art and is featured in the book “Neon Queens” (1999) by Gale Baker.

Pat Elliott Minsky passed away in 2004. In loving memory, she will always be a part of the BHS.

Sunny Date

Sunny Dare At age 17, Sunny joined the chorus line at the Gayety Theatre in Detroit, which was just the beginning of a long, successful career in burlesque. In 1950, she went on the road

with Sally Rand, and in 1951, "Sunny Dare" was born. Billed as, "The Girl with the Blue Hair," Sunny performed as a feature all over the United States, as well as touring Japan. She would sing, perform acrobatics, high jumps, and splits. Working for Minsky's, in the late 1960's, she worked month-long club shows in Italy, England, and the Dominican Republic. But in 1970, seeing where burlesque was headed, Sunny decided to make a change. She went to nursing school, by day, and performed as Nejma, "Turkey's Foremost Belly Dancer," by night. She worked for years, as a belly dancer, in Greek clubs and Middle Eastern restaurants, while working her way through nursing school.

In loving memory, Sunny Dare passed away August, 2008

The Fasicinating Jennifer

The Fascinating Jennifer Jennifer was invited to dance in the chorus line of the Casino Burlesque Theatre in Boston when it re-opened in 1954. After learning stage presence, she was asked to do a solo striptease routine, which was of no interest to the young dancer until AFTER Sequin came to the theatre and performed. Watching Sequin's routine, which contained no bumps and grinds, Jennifer began creating her own costumes and routines and frequently filled in on stage when needed thereafter. In 1957, "The Fascinating Jennifer," toured on the Bryan & Engle circuit as a co-feature, and by 1958, performed as a feature, continuing to work in burlesque theatres until her retirement in 1963.

The Fascinating Jennifer In loving memory, The Fascinating Jennifer passed away October 2015

Mary Rooney

Mary Rooney Mary began dancing in 1957, at age 16, and still loves to dance today. Billed as "The Million Dollar Baby," Mary Rooney became a headliner and star attraction who worked all over the United States, except the West Coast, and Canada. She also danced under the names Chris Snow and Crystal La-Vegas, "The Girl with the Golden Nuggets and the Winning Numbers." Working as Crystal, Mary did a production number with a 300-pound prop Roulette Table, with a revolving wheel. The audience would be invited on stage and, one by one, they would spin the wheel. Wherever the wheel stopped, that's the clothing item she would remove. The jackpot was the G-string; but the wheel was fixed so it would never stop there--no matter how hard the guys tried. Mary says, "I can still dance up a storm, even on a dance floor packed with teenagers. I just have music and rhythm in my bones.".

Photos, Unavailable at this time!

La Savona La Savona La Savona, originally from Czechoslovakia, (now the Czech Republic,) was an attraction in many European cities, before moving to the United States. In Europe, dancing was recognized as a sensuous ancient art form; the performance was what was most important, not how much clothing was worn. Upon arriving in the United States, her career in NYC, working as a "special added attraction" on the same bill with Blaze Starr. When Blaze left, she became the star of the show. Touring in theatres and clubs, La Savona worked in the United States, Canada, and all across Eastern Europe. Some newspaper write-ups reviewed her performance as "an interpretation of Sally Rand," and she didn't even know who Sally Rand was. La Savona's photos have appeared on the cover of several magazines, as well as appeared on the cover of two record albums. She has also performed on radio, television, and in films. She is perhaps best known for her Scheherazade Oriental number; and is most proud of the Honorary Membership bestowed upon her by the crew of the legendary atomic submarine, USS SEAWOLF.


Sequin Sequin's career in show business first began at age 17 when she was hired as a nightclub singer in Oakland, CA, and the only gown she had to wear was her high school prom dress. But it was wartime, 1945, and Oakland was swarming with sailors who didn't care what a gal was wearing, as long as she was a good-looking female. By the time Sequin was 19, she had performed for the USO, and numerous Veterans Hospitals, as she made her way across the country to join Buddy Johnson's band in NYC. After touring with Johnson, and later, Jack "Madman" Mitchell, Sequin, with the aid of her friend, artist Ted Littleton, created a striptease act, and began her burlesque career at "Strip City" in Los Angeles. Lili St Cyr was her role model. Touring as "Sequin, Beauty to the 4th Dimension," she worked throughout the United States in theatres and clubs, (Dick Richards was instrumental in getting Sequin booked onto the Ohio Burlesque Circuit,) until appearing at Minsky's in 1957, where she met future husband, Tony Tamburello. Tony, musical director for Tony Bennett, created a nightclub routine with special material, which he and Sequin performed until they married a year later, and Sequin retired.

Sequin recently released a nostalgic collection of songs on CD titled, "WHEN LIGHTS ARE LOW." To order, send $20 in C/O the BHS; which will then be mailed on to Sequin.

Gilda and Her Crowning Glory

Gilda and Her Crowning Glory — also known as Shirley Jean in the “Our Gang/Little Rascals” movies. Gilda began as a chorus girl at the Follies Theatre in LA, in between jobs in the movies; her last film job was as a dancer in “Singing in the Rain.” Lillian Hunt, choreographer at the Follies, gave Gilda her first job as a strip-tease dancer and talking woman, and then went on to manage her career in burlesque. Known for her waist long golden hair, Jennie Lee’s EDL voted Gilda number 9 among all time best strips the same year she retired, in the late 1950’s. During her burlesque career Gilda worked theaters and clubs all over the country and Canada.

In loving memory, Gilda passed away Feb., 2009

Dee Milo, Venus of Dance Dee Milo, Venus of Dance — worked in burlesque theatres and clubs across the country, Japan and Mexico from 1949-1964. She also toured in USO Shows. While working in Mexico in 1957 Dee met and became close friends with Jennie Lee. Dee Milo was known for her “Sentimental Journey” number and nearly went to jail when she introduced a new routine called “ I Married an Angel.” Upon retiring from burlesque, all photos, publicity, costumes and memorabilia were burned in a fire…CAN YOU HELP US REPLACE ANY OF THESE ITEMS? Dee has been involved in the practice of energy healing for the last 30 years, but will still perform when asked to do so.

Novita Novita — started performing in clubs as a child, and began working in burlesque in 1950. Working clubs and theatres, she was often the featured dancer in Lenny Bruce shows. “Novita” was voted in as the Vice-President of “The League of Exotic Dancers.” The “EDL,” created by nine dancers in 1955, threatened to strike over the low wages paid to the strip-tease dancers in the Los Angeles area. The nine dancers involved included: Jennie Lee, President and Founder; “Novita,” Vice-President; Rusty Lane; Betty Rowland; Virginia Valentine; Daurene Dare; Denise Dunbar; Peggy Stuart & “Champagne.” Others who wanted to be there, but could not, included: Pat Flannery, Doreen Gray, “Caprice” and Misty Aires. “Novita” stopped performing in burlesque in 1957, but remained an active member of “EDL.” Today she works under her real name as a professional artist, with numerous works in private and corporate collections.

Miss White Fury— aka Patti Kelly, but she was usually billed as “Miss White Fury and her Twin 44’s.” Her parents, Rusty and Dusty Farnham worked in Vaudeville and early radio. “Miss White Fury” performed all over the country in theaters and clubs from 1953 to 1983. Coralie Jr. was her agent, and tassel twirling was her specialty. AT THIS TIME WE ARE LOOKING FOR BLONDE PIN-UP TYPE PHOTOS OF “WHITE FURY” THAT HAVE NOT BEEN AUTOGRAPHED. We are looking for a photo she can have copies made from to autograph to fans…CAN ANYONE HELP?

Diane DeLyse

Diane DeLyse — worked as a specialty dancer in burlesque on and off from 1938 to 1969. She worked all over Europe before being forced to come back to the United States at the start of WWII—often using the name Diane Page. It did not matter to her if she worked clubs or theaters—she just loved dancing. However it was written into her contract that she was not going to mix with the customers when working the clubs. “The Devil and the Virgin” was one of her best-known routines.

In loving memory, Diane DeLyse passed away February 2016

Linda Doll— started performing in burlesque at a very young age at the Folly Theatre in Kansas City, MO in 1949. Linda worked in clubs and theaters in 28 states and Canada, retiring from burlesque around 1969. Jack Ruby was one of her many admirers even though she never worked for him. Upon retiring from burlesque Linda went on to work as a dancer and extra in movies, most notably “Viva Las Vegas” with Elvis Presley and in films with John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart.

Photos, Unavailable at this time!

Carmela, the Sophia Loren of Burlesque

Carmela, the Sophia Loren of Burlesque — worked all over the country from 1950 to 1976, preferring the burlesque theaters to the clubs. She also worked In Europe, Canada and South America, sometimes following and/or co-featuring with Blaze Starr and Tempest Storm. Fellow performers that Carmela worked with include: Louis Armstrong, Soupie Sales and Don Rickles. She is especially proud of the performance she gave for President Kennedy’s honor guard.

In loving memory, Carmela passed away in January 2008

Marinka aka Melanie Hunter Marinka aka Melanie Hunter — worked in burlesque from 1960 on, including the Ann Corio show “This Was Burlesque.” She is very proud of the fact that she got guidance from and was trained by Rose La Rose. “Marinka” has appeared in films and legitimate theater productions, including “All That Jazz.” Performing all over the country, including Canada, Mexico and Europe, “Marinka” still performs today whenever an audience wants to see a true, old-time burlesque routine.

Connie Mercedes— worked in burlesque from 1950 to 1988, including the Ann Corio show “This Was Burlesque.” Connie worked on Broadway, all over the United States, England, Europe, Mexico, Canada and Japan.

In loving memory, Connie Mercedes passed away in late 2015

Lee Angel, aka Angel Robinson or Robin Lee Lee Angel, aka Angel Robinson or Robin Lee — began her burlesque career on the east coast in 1956 with the “World of Mirth Show.” She was the only strip-tease dancer to headline the Rock n’ Roll Shows on the “Chitlin Circuit.“Angel went on to perform all over the world, becoming an International Star before retiring from burlesque in 1977. Little Richard recently stated in public that Angel has been his woman for the past 50 years.

Tanya, aka Dee Valka

Tanya, aka Dee Valka — Tanya and sisters Bronya and Marie Stobbe all attended dance school in the 1930’s before going on to perform in burlesque. Tanya worked in theaters and clubs across the United States from 1942 to 1971, but always preferred working in clubs. Bronya, who passed away in 1995 with Tanya by her side, also worked across the country and Canada. Tanya and Bronya excelled in tap, ballet and acrobatic dancing. Bronya was known for her Half-and-Half act. Dancing was her life! Tanya also used the name Dee Valka, but only when performing in the state of Florida. Besides her own photos, Tanya also has UNAUTOGRAPHED photos of Bronya that are available. Just Ask!

In loving memory,Tanya passed away February 2014

Joni Taylor

Joni Taylor — Joni began her career in burlesque in 1952 working in the chorus line at the Casino Theatre in Pittsburgh. Comic George Murray was the theatre manager and his wife Eileen Hubert, dancer/talking woman, choreographed the shows. As her career progressed, Joni went on the road working in bits with comic Charlie Robinson, and dancing as a co-feature, always working in theaters on the east coast. Joni left burlesque in 1964, but would fill-in if AGVA called for a last minute replacement. She is proud to have worked with many top-notch comics and straight men from the last decades of burlesque.

Photos, Unavailable at this time!

April March

April March — worked in burlesque from 1952 to 1978, performing all over the US, Canada, Mexico and in England. April headlined two Harold Minsky Shows, also Ann Corio’s show “This Was Burlesque” for 6 weeks. It was during a press party thrown by Ann Corio that a writer discovered April was a talented golfer. Because of that interview she became the first female strip-tease dancer from burlesque to be given a full write up in “Sports Illustrated.” In 1964 she appeared in a film short made by Jim Henson called “Time Piece” which won major awards within the film industry. April preferred working in theaters to clubs, and says she truly enjoyed getting to know all the great comics.

Photos, Unavailable at this time!

Vicki O’Day Vicki O’Day — worked mostly in burlesque clubs on the west coast, also in Alaska and Canada, from 1964 to 1979. However she likes to tell about how she was headed to work in Guam and made a left turn only to find herself working in Boston instead. Also known as “Astarte— Goddess of Fertility” Vicki made a movie in Denver in 1965 with Tempest Storm called “A Day in the Life of a Stripper.”


Cynthiana — worked burlesque clubs and theaters from 1963 to 1970. She mostly worked on the west coast, Hawaii and Japan, but was particularly popular in Louisville, KY. She was known for the large hats she wore in her routines, which were made by “Kiva.”

Photos, Unavaliable at this time!

Sheila Rae

Sheila Rae — worked in burlesque from 1946 to 1971. She was a feature attraction who worked in clubs and theaters all over the United States, Europe and Canada. She was sometimes billed as “The Hungarian Bombshell.” Due to health reasons Sheila is not able to correspond with her fans at this time but autographed photos ARE available. Please contact us regarding the purchase of her photos and we will be more than happy to help you.

In loving memory, Sheila Rae passed away July 2010

Sandy O’Hara Sandy O’Hara — known as “The Improper Bostonian,” Sandy is currently starring in “The Best of Burlesque.” Starting her career in the chorus line at age seventeen, she was headlining “Minsky’s Burlesque Follies” in Las Vegas by age twenty. Sandy has also starred in Ann Corio’s “This Was Burlesque,” Barry Ashton’s “Wonderful World of Burlesque,” and Rocky Senne’s “Wild World of Burlesque.” Sandy is famous as being a world-renowned fan dancer, and for her tribute to Sally Rand. After an appearance at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas in 1970, Miss O’Hara was dubbed “Miss Armed Forces Pin-Up.” She was the first lady so honored since Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable.

Satin Doll

Satin Doll — began her career in burlesque in 1959 appearing at the Terris Club in Milwaukee, where she performed a soft shoe and dance routine. Billed as “The Fabulous Dee Dee,” “DeAnna Day,” “Princess Dee,” or “Satin Doll” (there were several “Satin Dolls”), she learned the artsy-seductive moves from such troupers as “The Gypsy,” Vicki, Mitzi, Tanya and other high caliber artists in the world of burlesque. She worked mostly in the Midwest, but did appear in clubs and theaters across the country, including Jack Ruby’s Club in Dallas. Not only did she perform as a dancer, but as a comedienne and MC as well, retiring from the stage in 1969. At present, she is a nationally published author of romance, poetry and children’s books.

Photos, Unavaliable at this time!

Gina BonBon Gina BonBon — born in Cuba, Gina began her career in burlesque in NYC in 1965. It was soon there after that she found herself performing on the burlesque theater circuit for Al Baker Jr. Jess Mack and Dick Richards were just two of the big named burlesque agents Gina worked for. She has worked clubs and theaters all over the country, including Canada and Guam. Performing in The Minsky’s Follies, Burlesque USA—starring Robert Alda and Red Buttons, “The Cabaret” in Las Vegas, and “The Playboy Club” in Chicago, provide Gina with just a few of her favorite memories from working in burlesque. Gina has also done some film and TV work. She retired from burlesque after giving her final performance in Hawaii in 1990.

Sunny Day

Sunny Day — It was shortly after being introduced to the owner of the Follies Theatre in Baltimore in 1969, that Sunny began her career in burlesque. Once her routines were polished and perfected at the Follies, she hit the road. Being able to travel is what appealed to her the most. Performing in clubs and theaters across the US and Canada, Sunny was known for her “Butterfly” act. The finale included wings that spread open to approximately 20 feet. Sunny retired from burlesque in 1976 to pursue a career in acting and her interest in photography.

Photos, No longer avaliable at this time!

Delilah Jones Delilah Jones — Delilah Jones—began dancing in burlesque in 1959 by working at clubs in the LA area. Sally Rand and Tempest Storm both worked with Delilah, helping her learn the fine art of dancing with fans and by giving her suggestions for her act. But her specialties were belly-dancing and contortion routines. She also did an act with a large champagne glass. (she has a great nude photo available in a champagne glass.) Delilah performed in burlesque into the late 1970’s, working all over the United States, Canada and Mexico. However she regularly performed at the world famous “Palomino Club” in Las Vegas. After retiring from the burlesque stage she ppeared in several movies and TV shows. BEFORE her career in burlesque, Delilah worked as a pin-up model, appearing in 75+ magazines under the name Doris Gohlke. She was also Miss Teenage Berlin in 1955 and the second runner up in the Miss Germany Pageant in 1957.

Mara Gaye

Mara Gaye — Billed as, "Exotic Surprise," and "The Lady of Fashion," Mara Gaye began performing in theatre productions at a very young age, before winning the 1936 title of "Miss Dallas." In the late 1930's, she became a Radio City Music Hall Rockette for five years, after working in films, such as: The Mexican Hayride, My Dear Public, and The Devil on Horseback, with Ann Miller. Mara also danced in Billy Rose's Casa Manana Show, and at the Clover Club in Miami, before beginning her career in burlesque in the early 1940's. Headlining in theatres and clubs across the United States, including: Minsky's, Empire Burlesque, the Hudson Theatre, Club Samoa, and the Willows, Mara also appeared in the "Paris Spice" edition of Michael Rose Capers at the Holiday Theatre on Broadway. Not only has Mara Gaye published her own catalog of bizarre and exotic costumes, but also her photos have appeared in many major publications. Friends and co-workers from burlesque included: Georgia Sothern, Peaches, Lili St Cyr, and Sally Rand.

In loving memory, Mara Gaye passed away July 22, 2005

Not only does “The Golden Days of Burlesque Historical Society” strive to find and reconnect performers from the last decades of burlesque, but we also help preserve the history and facts regarding burlesque. This could not be done without YOUR help! PLEASE send stories & copies of any newspaper clippings regarding burlesque that you have saved over the years, whether they are articles about performers, theaters, or obituaries. EVERYTHING helps us preserve the history. THANK YOU! And thank you for your support of these wonderful old-time performers from the golden days of burlesque! jb


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