Bubbles Darlene – The Burlesque Stripper Who Shocked Havana

Darlene Bubbles was billed as the World’s Most Exciting Body.

Newspaper interview quotes:

” Her real name was Virginia LaChimia. ” — [It is often misspelled as LaCHINia, which does rhyme with Virginia.

” Every summer she goes home to Minnesota, where she went to the Edison High School in Minneapolis, and vacations at a cabin she owns on Prior Lake, where she always swims minus a suit or even a bikini. 

Streetswing’s page on Bubbles says:

  • Bubbles started her career at Chicago’s Rialto Theatre … she was also billed as “The Dancer That Shocked Havana“.
  • She also performed as Vikina and Sheri Darlene.

Bubbles had photo spreads in several men’s magazines, and tons of other press. She was talented at self promotion as well as dancing.

Javas Bachelor Pad has this great essay  about strippers up on their page, titled “The Off-Stage Shenanigans of Strippers” by Franklin L. Thistle from AdamVol. 3 No. 8, February 1959. It tells about Bubbles’ Havana escapade that made her “The Dancer That Shocked Havana”:

She staged a one-woman revolt against falsies in Havana by strolling down the main street dressed in only a revealing transparent raincoat and black panties…

Bubbles casually strolled along busy downtown Prado boulevard wearing only a transparent raincoat. Police booked her on the charge of indecent exposure… That evening when Bubbles showed up for work, the club was jammed and people were lined up for blocks waiting to get in.” [Also here.]

There are lots of pix of Bubbles Darlene online, here, and plenty pf other sites.

She’s also pictured in the book Pictorial History of Burlesque from A to Z, if you can get your hands on a copy.

  • Received this email from a fan of Bubbles Darlene who knew her ‘back in the day’ – thanks Harold, for writing in and sharing your memory:

“… my name is harold / age 79 / time span-1944 to 1950- lived at 18th and maple-louisville,ky-across the street was the club neon – during that time various burlesque appeared – one was bubbles darlene – she visited our store daily for cokes snick snack.  i was 16, my three brothers, what a thrill see bubbles every day and she was wonderful to us …”

“… we visited cuba 12/05 and we learned on the famous dance-brought back good me memories, a most wonderful summer-like a movie… i had heard that bubbles is deceased – if not is there a current name and address – it would bewonderfull to tell somone what a beautiful-gracious lady was to us.” regards harold

I did find a comment on a blog, dated 2007, that stated Darlene had passed away ”a few years ago”, and had been disfigured in a bad car accident. Sad. [Source]