Zorita ~ Burlesque Queen ~ Stripper, Snake Dancer, Legend

Presenting the Exotic ZORITA.

Zorita’s history is no mystery. Just Google Zorita, and you’ll find plenty of links to tons of photos, bio info, memories, and articles. 

Well, maybe there’s some mystery… 

  • Or was it? According to a Toledo Blade article, she was Arrested in Toledo Ohio, and her name was revealed to be Ada Brockett.
Zorita’s Show Bar, Miami
She toured the country, but finally made Florida her home. She was in the news there alot.  In her later years she owned a few bars in Florida. Zorita died in 2001 at age 85. 

More bio details and great photos here on Playful Promises / Zorita.

Zorita is interviewed at length in the film “Pretty Things,” by Liz Goldwyn, a documentary with many of the Legends of burlesque. [Also a book on Amazon]

Read the Liz Goldwyn interview with Zorita (orig. published on the Velvet Hammer site, which is not there any more) — but you can find it courtesy of the wonderful WAYBACK MACHINE.
  • Her routines would contain the use of snakes (Pythons & Boa Constrictors) as a gimmick with her most remembered routine being called “the consummation of the wedding of the snake”. 

She would even take her snake for a walk – but denied it was a publicity stunt. — Read more about Zorita’s snake walking, and some comments from Zorita’s daughter here.

Once fined for Indecency in Baltimore — here.
  • She was also known for her 1/2-n-1/2 dance — half man, half woman.
  • Zorita was in 1949’s I MARRIED A SAVAGE — here’s an excerpt from the film synopsis on the Turner Classic Movie site  Alas, no copy for sale, but see the You Tube video here — weird wild stuff!!!

    “… Zorita is trying to avoid marriage to a tribal chief, but after she performs a sacred marriage dance with a python, she and Morgan realize that they love each other and escape from the village. On a beach, they build a fire, which is seen by a passing freighter. After the freighter picks them up, they are married by the ship’s captain. However, Zorita has insisted on bringing her sacred snake along and, as the captain will not permit it in the cabin, she spends most of her honeymoon keeping the snake company in the ship’s hold. When they arrive in New York, Morgan has trouble finding a place to stay because of the python and starts drinking. Eventually, an ex-circus performer, who does not mind snakes, lets them stay in his rooming house. Zorita warns Morgan, who has a deep-rooted fear of snakes, that if any harm should befall the sacred snake, they will suffer a horrible fate. Morgan visits a theatrical agent who is unable to find work for him, but offers to book Zorita and her snake dance at fifteen hundred dollars per week. Morgan gets drunk and returns to Zorita with the news, but she refuses to perform their sacred, ritual love dance for other people, saying that it is like asking her to go with other men. Zorita then runs away and Morgan searches for her. Later in the apartment, Morgan finds Zorita dead, her body ravaged by knife wounds. Back in the prison, Morgan tells the reporter that he vaguely remembers a policeman yanking a knife out of his hand but states that he is puzzled by what had transpired. He swears that he thought he was killing the snake as it was destroying his marriage, but when the room was searched there was no sign of it. …”

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