March 1, 2010 Leave a comment
At the 2006 Miss Exotic World PageantTempest Storm (born February 29, 1928) is an American stripper, burlesque star, and motion picture actress. Along with Lili St. Cyr and Blaze Starr, she was one of the best known burlesque performers of the 1950s and 1960s. She is regarded as having one of the longest careers as a burlesque performer, spanning more than 50 years. She still regularly performs as of the 2000s.
Storm was born Annie Blanche Banks in Eastman, Georgia. By the age of 20, she had already been twice married and divorced. She decided to head for Hollywood. Her beauty landed her work as a chorus girl, but her figure, combined with a magnetic stage personality, led her to a highly successful career in burlesque. Her professional debut was at El Rey Theater in Oakland, California. She adopted the stage name Tempest Storm about 1950 and changed it legally in 1957. In 1955, while working at the Tropics Nightclub, in Denver CO, Tempest visited the University of Colorado, Boulder, campus. All she took off was her mink coat, but she started a near-riot.  She was married to Duke Ellington’s singer (and first black cowboy) Herb Jeffries.
Storm was a regular performer for many years at the EL REY, a burlesque theater in Oakland, California, as well as at clubs around the United States, including in Las Vegas. She was famous for her physical measurements (44DD-25-35) and her naturally red hair. She was featured in numerous men’s magazines and burlesque movies, including Russ Meyer‘s French Peep Show (1950), Paris After Midnight (1951), Striptease Girl (1952), Irving Klaw’s Teaserama, (1955) (which also featured Bettie Page) and his Buxom Beautease (1956). She traveled extensively and did many performances in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada. In the late 1950s, her breasts – her “moneymakers” as she called them – were insured by Lloyds of London for one million dollars. She acted in several motion pictures both as herself and in a character role.
With writer Bill Boyd, Ms. Storm told her life story in the 1987 book Tempest Storm: The Lady Is a Vamp. (ISBN 0-934601-25-9). She was inducted into the Exotic World Burlesque Museum Hall of Fame in Helendale, California, where one of her G-strings is part of the museum’s display.Storm officially retired in 1995 at the age of 67, but has done occasional stage performances since.In 1999 she stripped in San Francisco‘s O’Farrell Theatre to mark the club’s 30-year anniversary. Mayor Willie Brown declared a “Tempest Storm Day” in her honor.
Storm was married four times. She has one daughter. She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Roger Ebert interview
- MinistryOfBurlesque.com video interview
- Taschen.com: “Tempest in a D-Cup”
- Metacafe.com: Trailer for the movie Teaserama (1955), featuring Bettie Page and Tempest Storm
- Tempest Storm at the Internet Movie Database