Rita Hayworth, Betty Grable and other screen sirens from the 1940s gave Doris Kotzan a glimpse into a life more glamorous than her hometown of Holyoke, Massachusetts could offer. She was only 17 when she decided to leave Holyoke and her given name behind to follow her dream- to be a star.
She was dancing to the jukebox at the hotel bar where she worked when a photographer from a nightclub recognized her talent. He asked her to dance for their club, and Bambi Jones was thrilled, as she loved to dance. Later, an ex-Rockette scouted Bambi, and she soon began touring the burlesque stages of the United States, South America, Mexico, and Canada.
Married to a politician in Nevada, Bambi was ‘in the closet’ about her burlesque stardom for many years. Her daughter briefly followed in Bambi’s sparkly footsteps, under the name Bambi Jr. When Bambi Sr.’s husband passed away, she went public again and, now in her 80’s, she still performs and teaches burlesque, sharing her moves, knowledge and experiences with today’s burlesque community. She authored the memoir My Journey: BURLESQUE, the Way It Was and appeared in the documentary Exotic World and the Burlesque Revival.
Bambi Jones at BHoF Weekend 2012
A burlesque lesson from Bambi Jones