Born February 26, Irene Lydia Siewert Jewell a.k.a. Ricki Covette (1925-2016).
Originally from British Columbia, Ricki eventually grew to a height of 6’8″, making her easily the world’s tallest exotic dancer — or tall enough to write that on the marquee, at any rate. Billing herself as a “Glamazon” with “The Longest Legs in Show Business”, her professional career lasted from the the 1950s through the 1970s. She was voted Miss Burlesk of 1955, and was said to have spent $48,000 on costume in 1958.
She also amassed some “legit” credits. She played Gymnassia in the National Tour of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1963) and had a bit part in the film The Swinger (1966) with Ann-Margaret, as well as Seed of Innocence (1980).
After retiring from the business she moved to Costa Mesa, California and sold real estate. In the early 1990s she married Stuart Jewell, was an Oscar winning cinematographer who specialized in time-lapse nature films, and worked for Disney throughout the 1950s. Jewell passed away in 1997. In 2010 Ricki (a.k. Irene) appeared in Leslie Zemeckis’s 2010 documentary Behind the Burly Q. She was working on her memoirs at the time of her death.