Tempest Storm, the fiery redhead known as a burlesque icon who starred in the early Russ Meyer films, is dead. She was 93.
Storm died Tuesday in her Las Vegas apartment, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and has been battling dementia for the past few months. She also struggled after undergoing hip surgery on April 8 and was supervised for 24 hours until her death.
‘Tempest was easily one of the most famous and highly regarded burlesque [performers] of all time, and was until the end an active part of the burlesque community, “Burlesque Hall of Fame executive director Dustin Wax told the Review Journal. She will be terribly missed in the burlesque community and much beyond. “
“She was the last of the great legends in the golden age of burlesque,” added her longtime friend and business partner Harvey Robbins. “She was perhaps the greatest of them all.”
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Annie Blanche Banks, born in 1928, left home in seventh grade and moved to Hollywood at the ripe old age of 15 to pursue a career. A client worked as a waitress and suggested she make money as a striptease. She auditioned at Follies Theater in 1951 and had to choose a stage name – either Sunny Day or Tempest Storm.
“Well, I said, I think it might as well be a storm,” she said.
Storm took the burlesque world by storm and by 1956 he was the highest paid artist ever with a ten-year, $ 100,000 contract with the Bryan English burlesque production company.
Eventually she takes on the film world and plays a role with Bettie Page in Irving Klaw’s 1955 film “Teaserama”.
But her Hollywood story does not end there. Storm also said she dated Elvis Presley and former President John F. Kennedy.
“Elvis the Pelvis,” she told local news store WQAD8 in 2013. ‘It was 1956. I was staying at The Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas, which is now the Bellagio. We had a burlesque review and he came to see the show. He came and sat down – he had the most beautiful eyes – and we had a relationship and it was absolutely fantastic. He was a real southern gentleman. Very polite. ‘
As for JFK, their alleged attack began before he became president.
“I met him in 1957 when he was a senator,” she said. “It was a wonderful relationship. He was a wonderful man in his politics and everything. I did not see him for years, and when I last saw him, I said, ‘You are going to be president,’ and he said, “I hope you’re right!” “
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Storm was featured in the 2016 documentary “Tempest Storm,” which focuses on her career and estrangement from her daughter Patricia, which she had with Herb Jeffries, a singer of the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
Her last appearance was at the Plaza for the Burlesque Hall of Fame reunion show in 2010, but she hosted the “Tempest Storm’s Las Vegas Burlesque Revue” a few months later, according to Las Vegas Weekly.
“The crowds went crazy for us and for burlesques,” she said at the time. “It was like the first time I’ve ever been on stage.”