Featured Artifact: Gypsy Rose Lee’s Pincushion

Gypsy Rose Lee was practically born into show business, touring the vaudeville circuits with her sister, Jane Havoc, from before she was old enough to go to school. Their successes were fleeting and hardships enduring, and it behooved the young vaudevillian to learn to sew. Throughout her stage career, both

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Toni Elling

Who’s Who in BurlyQ: Toni Elling

The elegant and classy Toni Elling is a burlesque icon who broke down many barriers as an African-American woman performing in the 1960s and 1970s. Born in 1929 and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Elling worked as a telephone operator for nine years before her big career switch. Reportedly fed up

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Val de Val one-sheet

Featured Artifact: Val de Val One-sheet

Val de Val (1917-2000), billed as “The Liberator” and “The H-Bomb of Burlesque”, began performing in the 1940s. She made two films, French Follies (which also featured our founder, Jennie Lee) and Burlesque in Hawaii (also released as Oriental Vanities) before retiring from performing when she got married in 1957. She went

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Liz Renay

Liz Renay Manuscript Restoration Project Finished

The Burlesque Hall of Fame offers our sincere thanks to the archive team at the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas, for their invaluable assistance in restoring a bundle of Liz Renay manuscripts acquired from her estate. Liz Renay published a number of books in her lifetime, including titles like My Face

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Sally Rand's "Leda and the Swan" act

Who’s Who in Burly-Q: Sally Rand (1904-1979)

Not many performers come to burlesque after having had a successful career elsewhere, but that’s exactly what Sally Rand did. Rand started in the theater as a teenager in Kansas City and enjoyed some success. Deciding to make her name in Hollywood, she joined the Ringling Bros. Circus and traveled

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Raven Virginia

2017 Weekender Recap by Sparkly Devil Memorial Scholarship Winner Raven Virginia

Our 2017 Sparkly Devil Memorial Scholarship recipient, Raven Virginia, shares her experiences studying with the legends of burlesque at the BHoF Weekender. I arrived in Las Vegas in the blistering heat ready to take on the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. It was exciting, daunting and totally amazing! Sparkly herself made

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Egypt Blaque Knyle

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER: Tales of the 2016 BHOF Weekender by 2016 Sparkly Devil Memorial Scholarship Winner Egypt Blaque Knyle

As I sat at work contemplating if I should even write the essay for the Sparkly Devil Memorial Scholarship I remember saying to myself “Why is this scholarship important to you and you have never even met Sparkly Devil in person”? I stared at the computer all day just thinking

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Tessa von Twinkle

“At Toni’s Side”: Lessons from the 2015 BHoF Weekender by Sparkly Devil Memorial Scholarship winner Tessa von Twinkle

Along with so many others in our community who haven’t yet experienced it for themselves, I’ve been e-creeping on The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender for years.  Whether Facebook-feed binging, watching hours of YouTube videos, or partaking in the many other fantastic modern marvels of social media, I’ve annually soaked

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Novita

RIP Novita, The Pixie of Burlesque (1932-2015)

We are saddened today to announce the passing of Novita, The Pixie of Burlesque. Novita was one of the founding members of the Exotic Dancers League (EDL) in 1955, a section of the American Guild of Variety Artists (which Novita had been a member of since age 13) dedicated to

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Jada’s Testimony Re: Jack Ruby’s Assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald

Here’s an interesting piece from our archives, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, and the ensuing assasination of Kennedy’s killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, by Jack Ruby on November 24, 1963: a copy of burlesque dancer Jada’s testimony about her employer,

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