Today’s Vintage Burlesque Babe is the lovely Brenda Hollis
- Her early promo pix have the tagline ‘The Golden Girl’ (which was also used by other babes).
- She had a photo spread in the July 1959 Modern MAN Magazine.
1960’s record album cover: COLOR ME RED HOT by Brenda Hollis
I found Brenda’s record after a nice reader sent in their memories:
“Brenda Hollis was originally named Audrey Ernst. She was the runner up for Miss Cincinnati losing out to a woman who became a famous actress. She considered her dancing “exotic dancing” and believed in the art of anticipation and the tease. She was a wonderful singer who sang with Artie Shaw. She sewed all her own costumes. The costumes were labor intensive – each sequin was sewn on by hand. She was a lifelong searcher re: Life. She lived to her 90’s and died in San Antonio with her son Robert Horton by her side. She was dramatic and always traveled in a whirlwind ( I remember her playing in Miami Beach, Las Vegas – the Stardust and others.) She wore high heels to the beach!”
I could not find any bio/history or other online references to any vintage Burlesque stripper named Brenda Hollis, so if you have any info, memories, or stories to share, please email me. Thanks!
Tammi True 1960’s Promo Photo and Ad
(Google image search pix.)
A living legend: Tammi True. Her real name is Nancy Myers. She performed back in the 1960’s, and worked in Dallas Texas at Jack Ruby’s club.
1963 video clip of Tammi True performing – link.
She was a part of not just burlesque history, but also Texas’ and America’s history. As she worked for Jack Ruby at his nightclub, she also had to go to Washington DC to speak to the investigating committee after John Kennedy’s killer was killed by Ruby.
Tammi saw the demise of the old Burlesque world, but she’s around to enjoy the renewed interest in Burlesque, and even participating in it. And looking great while doing it!
Tammie True was the subject of some interviews and articles, which led to her attending some modern Burlesque events, more press and appearances, even a documentary film titled TRUE TALES.
And now she’s got a website – truestuff.biz.
And a book –
Here are a few of the many interview links, and some more screen shot photos.
- Dallas News 2013 interview – link.
- 2011 article in D Magazine – link.
- Recent event video – link.
- Her Ruby revue page – link.
“In the 1960s, Nancy Myers, better known as Tammi True, headlined at the Carousel Club, the striptease venue owned by Jack Ruby. Throughout her career as a burlesque dancer, she performed in several downtown Dallas clubs and traveled the country with her routine. They called her Miss Excitement.”
Siri, the Dutch Doll
Other than many newspaper ads for her appearances in Burlesque theaters and clubs in the 1950s, the only info I could find on Siri was from the FBI’s investigation into Jack Ruby. The FBI looked into his known associates, which include anyone who performed at Ruby’s night club.
This screen shot of the FBI report [link] shows that they contacted Siri, who said she never worked for Ruby.
We can see her real name was Marjorie Alice Putnam, was living in Hollywood, and at that time, 1963, had been in show biz for about 20 years, and stripping for ”the past several years”.
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]