Blaze Starr, the queen of Baltimore burlesque, died today. She was 83. Born Fannie Belle Fleming she was fabled for the rose petals that she gently blew across her bosom to admiring audiences from the runway of her Two O’Clock Club in Baltimore. Starr said in a 2010 interview;
“Honey, I loved it. But everything has its season.”
She grew up in Twelve Pole Creek, West Virginia, she was one of 11 children, left home at age 15 and boarded a bus for Washington where she worked as a waitress in a doughnut shop. John Waters said of her;
“For a while she was the only famous person Baltimore had. I never actually met her. But Divine and I went down and saw her show. She had such dedicated fans. She was great. I have posters of her. When I was in high school we’d go down to The Block. They never checked IDs. We loved her act. She helped form myself and Divine.”
After a friend took Ms. Starr to the Quonset Hut, a club near Quantico, Virgina, she began working as a stripper. She made her debut on the runway of the Two O’Clock Club in 1950.
“I still dream about it sometimes. I’m dressed and getting ready to go on stage and I can’t find my gloves.”
After hanging up her G-string and pasties in 1975, Starr moved Carroll County, where she launched a second career designing and making jewelry. She later moved home to an 80-acre family compound to care for her mother and a brother, both of whom have since died. In recent years, she and her brother had sold jewelry through her website.
Another one-of-kind now gone that you can say, “they don’t make ’em like that anymore.”
(via Baltimore Sun)