We are saddened to report the passing yesterday of burlesque legend Tempest Storm (Annie Banks, b. 1928). We last shared our post on her back in 2016 — she was a leap year baby. And when I say baby, I mean baby!!
Originally from rural Georgia, already a twice divorced child-bride at 20, Banks decided to put her 44DD-25-35 measurements and fiery red hair to good use by becoming a burlesque performer. She debuted as Tempest Storm at the El Rey Club in Oakland, California around 1950 and went on to become one of the most famous of all burlesque dancers, through her nightclub appearances, pin-ups, movies, celebrity hook-ups (she was married to singer Herb Jeffries and had affairs with Elvis and JFK), and national press in places like Life Magazine.
She danced professionally until she was 67 years old, and still came out to perform on occasion until quite recently. You can see her in Leslie Zemeckis’s excellent film Behind the Burly Q. She was one the last of the true burlesque legends.