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Monday, June 6, 2011

Lili St. Cyr

Born Willis Marie Van Schaack in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 3,1918, Lili St. Cyr was an American stripper in the 1940's and 1950's who replaced Gypsy Rose Lee and Ann Corio as Queen of the Burlesque. Lili is also the one responsible for taking the striptease out of burlesque and putting it in Las Vegas. She was also a pinup model mainly for Bernard of Hollywood. Her family moved to Pasadena, California and was raised by her grandparents. Lili had two sisters who were also in burlesque, Dardy Orlando and Barbra Moffett. Lili was trained in ballet and became a chorus girl at notable places, like the Florentine Gardens. She went on to develop and choreograph her own solo act which featured her nude.When her act debuted at the Music Box proved to be a flop she came up with a new act. It consisted of Lili taking a bath or doing a reverse strip. She became famous in 1944 while performing at the Gaiety Theater in Montreal. A famous gimmick of hers was to have  her G-string that was attached to a fishing line, fly off into the balcony as the lights dimmed. It became known as the "Flying G". She conquered Las Vegas and it was there that she created her "bubble bath bit" on stage  while being dressed by her maid. Lili's private life was fodder fodder the tabloids with 6 marriages, highly publicized fights and suicide attempts. She eventually tired of all of this drama and retreated starting a lingerie business. Lili St. Cyr died on January 29, 1999.

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