Legendary burlesque performer Tempest Storm dies age 93
‘Queen of Erotic Dancers’ dated Elvis Presley, had her 44DD breasts insured for $1MILLION and put on shows until she was in her 80s ‘bringing the art of striptease to the masses’
- Tempest Storm passed away in Las Vegas Tuesday following a short illness
- She was born Annie Blanche Banks in Eastman, Georgia before she set out for Hollywood at the age of 16
- By her early 20s, Storm had become the highest-paid burlesque dancer in the country, famed for her raunchy routines and voluptuous frame
- Storm was married three times and had a short-lived romance with Elvis Presley
- The bombshell once lived next door to Marilyn Monroe and even alleged she had an affair with JFK
- Storm continued to perform as a burlesque dancer into her 80s, doing private shows as late as 2014
By Andrew Court For Dailymail.com
Tempest Storm, the burlesque dancer credited with bringing ‘the art of striptease to the masses’, has died at the age of 93.
The flame-haired bombshell, who had her 44DD breasts insured for $1 million, passed away at home in Las Vegas Tuesday afternoon following a short illness.
Storm had a successful stage career spanning more than six decades, and was still headlining shows in Sin City into her 80s.
The busty beauty became a Las Vegas legend, dubbed ‘the Queen of Erotic Dancers’. She boasted famous friends including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and Marilyn Monroe.
Storm also had a short-lived romance with Elvis Presley and even claimed to have had an affair with President John F. Kennedy.
In a 2014 interview with DailyMail.com, Storm stated that the secret to her success was being ‘sexy and classy’ at the same time.
‘You need to be sexy and tease the audience,’ she stated. ‘Make them believe that they are a part of your life at that time. ‘
‘I’ve been around more than 60 years and had the longest career of anyone in the business. There’s nothing I haven’t done, I’ve been through it all.’ +11
Tempest Storm, the burlesque dancer credited with bringing ‘the art of striptease to the masses’, has died at the age of 93. She is pictured in 2012 at the age of 84+11
In a 2014 with DailyMail.com, Storm stated that the secret to her success was being ‘sexy and classy’ at the same time. She is seen on stage in 1954+11
Storm enjoyed a short-lived romance with Elvis Presley in 1957. The pair are pictured together that year+11
Sexy at 75! Storm is seen at the 2003 Miss Exotic World Pageant putting her incredible body on show in lacy lingerie
Storm was born Annie Blanche Banks in Eastman, Georgia back in 1928.
The daughter of a sharecropper, she left school in the seventh grade and had two failed marriages by the age of 16.
Soon after, she set out for the bright lights of Los Angeles, hoping to make it as an actress, but a burlesque career beckoned.
According to The Las Vegas Review Journal, Storm was working as a cocktail waitress when her voluptuous frame attracted the attention of stage manager Lilian Hunt.
Storm subsequently began a career in burlesque, and quickly became the highest-paid dancer in the country.
‘I didn’t want to be just a flash in the pan. I told myself that if I was going to make it, I was going to be a big star. I had a lot of drive. I wanted to be the best,’ she told DailyMail.com in 2014.
By 1956 – aged just 28 – Storm was already raking in $100,000 a year. She soon began taking her shows on the road, and even performed at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.
She had her most famous assets – her eye-popping breasts – insured by Lloyd’s of London for $1million.
Storm frequently put on shows in Las Vegas, and soon settled in the city on a permanent basis. +11
Storm (right) is seen with fellow dancer Bettie Page in the 1950s +11
Storm (seen at the bottom right) is pictured in a Teaserama poster published in 1955 +11
Designer James Berry strips tape and and jersey form from Storm’s body following a show in the 1950s+11
She had her most famous assets – her eye-popping breasts -insured by Lloyd’s of London for $1million
As one of the world’s most desired women, Storm’s love life also attracted column inches.
Her most famous fling was with Elvis Presley in 1957 – a romance she recounted in her interview with DailyMail.com
‘I was mixing in high circles and a lot of big names would come and watch my shows. That is how I met ‘Elvis the Pelvis”, she proclaimed.
‘I was performing at The Dunes – now the Bellagio – and Elvis came back stage to have photos taken with the performer, but I was in a hurry as I had friends coming to visit from Texas.
‘I was stood there with Elvis Presley and I just said ‘will this take long?’ I was standing next to the King and complaining about being in a hurry.
‘He looked at me with those beautiful eyes and said ‘may I join you?’ He was a real Southern gentleman – it was absolutely fantastic.’
Storm also claimed to have had an affair with John F. Kennedy, but never disclosed the year it was alleged to have taken place. +11
‘I didn’t want to be just a flash in the pan. I told myself that if I was going to make it, I was going to be a big star. I had a lot of drive. I wanted to be the best’: Storm is seen on stage in 1954
In 1959 – the year before Kennedy became President – Storm married actor Herb Jeffries, with whom she had one daughter.
The couple divorced in 1967, and Storm was reported to be estranged from her only child at the time of her death.
During her 2014 interview with DailyMail.com, which took place when she was 86 years old, Storm did not discuss motherhood.
However, she did reveal that she was still performing private shows and credited her longevity to her healthy lifestyle.
‘I’ve never smoked, drank or taken drugs – that’s why I have lasted in this business so long,’ she said.
And while the relationship with her daughter may have been frayed, Storm said she was grateful to be a role model to legions of young burlesque dancers.
‘I really appreciate the praise I get from young dancers who tell me that I am an inspiration to them.
‘When I meet them they are so sweet, they just adore me. They cry and hug me. It’s very touching. I’m thrilled that these girls see me as an inspiration,’ she said.
‘I tell them they have to be sexy, but to be classy. Everything I have ever done, I have done with class. Nothing vulgar.’+11
‘I really appreciate the praise I get from young dancers who tell me that I am an inspiration to them’: Storm is seen in Las Vegas in 2014
INSIDE Tempest Storm’s wild love life as the burlesque icon had steamy affairs with John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley and more before her death at 93.
The Last Queen of Burlesque was also close friends with Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page.
Tempest became a huge figure in the burlesque world and by 1956, was the highest-paid performer ever with a 10-year contract at $100,000 at the Bryan-Engels burlesque production company.
But after rising to fame, Tempest scored some pretty powerful men and added them to her list of conquests.
One of Tempest’s husband was John Becker, who was her manager before she rose to fame.
According to Oregon Live, John was a former burlesque straight man who had worked under the name Johnny Del Mar.
He would label his wife the “5 Dimension Girl” in splashy newspaper ads
During a 2013 interview, Tempest opened up about her relationship with the King of Rock.
“Elvis the Pelvis,” she told local news outlet WQAD8.
“It was 1956. I was appearing 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 over and sat down – he had the most beautiful eyes – and we got into a relationship and it was absolutely fantastic. He was a real Southern gentleman. Very polite.”
President John F. Kennedy
Before his alleged affair with Marilyn Monroe, JFK also had an alleged affair with the burlesque dancer.
Their rumored romance began way before he became president.
“I met him in 1957 when he was a senator. It was a great relationship. He was a great man in his politics and everything,” she claimed.
“I hadn’t seen him for years, and the last time I saw him, I said, ‘You’re going to be president,’ and he said, ‘I hope you’re right!’”
Tempest actually married her fourth husband in 1959, two years after her alleged affair with JFK.
At the time, their relationship was considered controversial as interracial relationships were still frowned upon.
Tempest lost many job opportunities and even friends abandoned her for her choice to marry Herb.
The couple divorced in 1967 and produced one daughter, Patricia.
Sadly, Tempest and her daughter were estranged by the time of her death.
Though it’s unclear when Tempest and Mickey had an affair, she did reveal that he and his wife at the time would come to see her shows.
The actor had a total of eight wives throughout his life.
“To me it was entertaining. We used to get a lot of couples. The wives would love seeing the costumes and the production numbers,” Tempest said.
“That was their risque night out.”
Louis Armstrong, the trumpeter and vocalist, was said to be one of her many suitors before she married Herb in 1957.
Though not much is known about their relationship, it was said that her many suitors were a concern to her potential agency at the time, MGM.
The gangster, Mickey Cohen, had a thing for burlesque dancers as he dated Tempest before dating two other burlesque dancers.
Though again, not much is known about their relationship, they dated in the 1950s.
Sammy Davis Jr.
The only thing that is really known about Tempest and dancer Sammy Davis Jr. was that they had an encounter at some point in time after he pursued her in the ’50s.
Nat King Cole
Though jazz singer Nat King was more of a close friend, it is common knowledge that the two were romantically involved during Tempest’s stardom.