Helen Gould Beck
April 3, 1904
Elkton, Missouri, U.S.
|Died||August 31, 1979 75) (aged|
Glendora, California, U.S.
|Other names||Billie Beck, Helen Gould Beck, Hattie Helen Gould Beck|
|Occupation|| Burlesque dancer |
|Spouse(s)||Clarence Robbins (?–?) |
Thurkel Greenough (1941–?)
Harry Finkelstein (1949–1950)
Fred Lalla (1954–1960)
Sally Rand (April 3, 1904 – August 31, 1979) was an American burlesque dancer, vedette and actress, most noted for her ostrich feather fan dance and balloon bubble dance. She also performed under the name Billie Beck.
An erotic dance is a dance that provides erotic entertainment and whose objective is the stimulation of erotic or sexual thoughts or actions in viewers. Erotic dance is one of several major dance categories based on purpose, such as ceremonial dance, competitive dance, participation dance, performance dance and social dance.
A vedette is the main female artist of a show derived from cabaret and its genres.
In the West, a fan dance, may be an erotic dance performance, traditionally by a woman, but not exclusively. It can be as form of musical interpretation. The performer, sometimes entirely nude or apparently so, dances while manipulating two large fans, constructed from many materials including ostrich feathers and organza.
Helen Gould Beck was born in the village of Elkton, Hickory County, Missouri.Her father, William Beck, was a West Point graduate and retired U.S. Army colonel, while her mother, Nettie (Grove) Beck, was a school teacher and part-time newspaper correspondent. The family moved to Jackson County, Missouri while she was still in grade school.
Elkton is an unincorporated community in Hickory County, in the U.S. state of Missouri.
Hickory County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,627. Its county seat is Hermitage. The county was organized February 14, 1845, and named after President Andrew Jackson, whose nickname was "Old Hickory." The Pomme de Terre Dam, a Corps of Engineers facility, is located three miles south of Hermitage and forms Lake Pomme de Terre by damming the Pomme de Terre River and Lindley Creek. The county is also home to Lucas Oil Speedway at Wheatland that includes a major circle dirt racing track, an off-road racing track as well as a large man-made water drag racing facility. Truman Reservoir, also a Corps of Engineers facility, floods the Pomme de Terre Reservoir from the northern border of the county southward to the city limits of Hermitage.
The United States Military Academy (USMA), also known as West Point, Army, Army West Point, The Academy, or simply The Point, is a four-year federal service academy in West Point, New York. It was originally established as a fort that sits on strategic high ground overlooking the Hudson River with a scenic view, 50 miles (80 km) north of New York City. It is one of the four U.S. military service academies, and one of the five U.S. service academies.
Helen got her start on the stage quite early, working as a chorus girl at Kansas City's Empress Theater when she was only 13. An early supporter of her talent was Goodman Ace, drama critic for the Kansas City Journal who saw her performing in a Kansas City nightclub and wrote glowing reviews. After studying ballet and drama in Kansas City, the teenage Helen decided her future lay in Hollywood. For a short time as she worked her way to the west coast, she was employed as an acrobat in the Ringling Brothers Circus.She also performed in summer stock and traveling theater, including working with a then-unknown Humphrey Bogart.
Kansas City is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had an estimated population of 488,943 in 2017, making it the 37th most-populous city in the United States. It is the central city of the Kansas City metropolitan area, which straddles the Kansas–Missouri state line. Kansas City was founded in the 1830s as a Missouri River port at its confluence with the Kansas River coming in from the west. On June 1, 1850 the town of Kansas was incorporated; shortly after came the establishment of the Kansas Territory. Confusion between the two ensued and the name Kansas City was assigned to distinguish them soon after.
Goodman Ace, born Goodman Aiskowitz, was an American humourist, radio writer and comedian, television writer, and magazine columnist.
The Kansas City Journal-Post was a newspaper in Kansas City, Missouri, from 1854 to 1942. It was the oldest newspaper in the city when it went out of business.
During the 1920s, she acted on stage and appeared in silent films. Cecil B. DeMille gave her the name Sally Rand, inspired by a Rand McNally atlas. She was selected as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1927.
Cecil Blount DeMille was an American filmmaker. Between 1914 and 1958, he made a total of 70 features, both silent and sound films. He is acknowledged as a founding father of the cinema of the United States and the most commercially successful producer-director in film history. His films were distinguished by their epic scale and by his cinematic showmanship. He made silent films of every genre: social dramas, comedies, Westerns, farces, morality plays, and historical pageants.
Rand McNally is an American technology and publishing company that provides mapping, software and hardware for the consumer electronics, commercial transportation and education markets. The company is headquartered in the Chicago, with a distribution center in Richmond, Kentucky.
The WAMPAS Baby Stars was a promotional campaign sponsored by the United States Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers, which honored 13 young actresses each year whom they believed to be on the threshold of movie stardom. The campaign intermittently ran from 1922 to 1934.
After the introduction of sound films, she became a dancer, known for the fan dance, which she popularized starting at the Paramount Club, at 15 E. Huron, in Chicago.Her most famous appearance was at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, known as the Century of Progress, accompanied by her backing orchestra, directed by Art Frasik. She would play peek-a-boo with her body by manipulating her fans in front and behind her, like a winged bird as she swooped and twirled on the stage, usually to "Clair de Lune". She was arrested four times in a single day during the fair due to perceived indecent exposure after a fan dance performance and while riding a white horse down the streets of Chicago, where the nudity was only an illusion, and again after being bodypainted by Max Factor, Sr. with his new makeup formulated for Hollywood films. She also conceived and developed the bubble dance, in part to cope with wind while performing outdoors. She performed the fan dance on film in Bolero , released in 1934. She performed the bubble dance in the film Sunset Murder Case (1938) available for watching on YouTube.
A Century of Progress International Exposition was a World's Fair registered under the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), which was held in Chicago, as The Chicago World's Fair, from 1933 to 1934 to celebrate the city's centennial. The theme of the fair was technological innovation. The fair's motto was "Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Adapts". Its architectural symbol was the Sky Ride, a transporter bridge perpendicular to the shore on which one could ride from one side of the fair to the other.
The cinema of the United States, often metonymously referred to as Hollywood, has had a large effect on the film industry in general since the early 20th century. The dominant style of American cinema is classical Hollywood cinema, which developed from 1917 to 1960 and characterizes most films made there to this day. While Frenchmen Auguste and Louis Lumière are generally credited with the birth of modern cinema, American cinema soon came to be a dominant force in the industry as it emerged. It produces the third largest number of films of any single-language national cinema, with more than 600 English-language films released on average every year. While the national cinemas of the United Kingdom (299), Canada (206), Australia, and New Zealand also produce films in the same language, they are not considered part of the Hollywood system. Hollywood has also been considered a transnational cinema. Classical Hollywood produced multiple language versions of some titles, often in Spanish or French. Contemporary Hollywood offshores production to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Bolero is a 1934 American pre-Code musical drama film starring George Raft and Carole Lombard, and directed by Wesley Ruggles. The Paramount production was a rare chance for Raft to star and to play a dancer, which had been his profession in New York City, rather than portraying a gangster. The film takes its title from the Maurice Ravel composition Boléro (1928). The supporting cast includes William Frawley, Ray Milland, and Sally Rand.
In 1936, she purchased The Music Box burlesque hall in San Francisco, which would later become the Great American Music Hall. She starred in "Sally Rand's Nude Ranch" at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco in 1939 and 1940.
The Great American Music Hall is a concert hall in San Francisco, California. It is located on O'Farrell Street in the Tenderloin neighborhood on the same block as the Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theatre. It is known for its decorative balconies, columns, and frescoes and for its history of unique entertainment, which has included burlesque dancing as well as jazz, folk music, and rock and roll concerts. The capacity of the hall is 470 people.
The Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE), held at San Francisco's Treasure Island, was a World's Fair celebrating, among other things, the city's two newly built bridges. The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge opened in 1936 and the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937. The exposition opened from February 18, 1939, through October 29, 1939, and from May 25, 1940, through September 29, 1940.
She was arrested twice in San Francisco in 1946; while performing at Club Savoy,she was arrested by six police officers in the audience as she danced, seemingly nude, in silhouette behind a large white fan; the judge, Daniel R. Shoemaker, granted her immunity should she be arrested for the same offense while on trial; however she was arrested during a night of the trial while performing her act, despite her immunity and the fact that she was wearing long underwear and a note that read "CENSORED. S.F.P.D." that time. In an unusual move, the judge viewed her performance at the Savoy and cleared her of all charges after deeming that "anyone who could find something lewd about the dance as she puts it on has to have a perverted idea of morals".
In the early '50s she was traveling with a 17-member troupe around the midwest appearing at state fairs and small theaters. Edith Dahl, accompanied Miss Rand's famous fan dance, the finale of the show, on the violin and "cracked a few jokes." According to local newspaper accounts, Miss Rand's large white feathered fans acted as "a guard to keep too much of mother nature from showing." "Smutty jokes" were at minimum in the afternoon performances." The tour was across Oklahoma and Texas then west toward Washington before returning east. She refused to divulge her age to reporters at the time but was known to be approaching 50.
She appeared on television in March 12, 1957, in episode 13 of the first season of To Tell the Truth with host Bud Collyer and panelists Polly Bergen, Ralph Bellamy, Kitty Carlisle, and Carl Reiner.She did not "stump the panel" but was correctly identified by all four panelists (she was introduced as Helen Beck, her birth name).
She continued to appear on stage doing her fan dance into the 1970s. Rand once replaced Ann Corio in the stage show, This Was Burlesque, appeared at the Mitchell Brothers club in San Francisco in the early 1970s and toured as one of the stars of the 1972 nostalgia revue "Big Show of 1928," which played major concert venues, including New York's Madison Square Garden. Describing her 40-year career, Rand said, "I haven’t been out of work since the day I took my pants off."
Rand died on August 31, 1979, at Foothill Presbyterian Hospital, in Glendora, California, aged 75, from congestive heart failure.She was deeply in debt at her death. Rand's adopted son told an interviewer that Sammy Davis Jr. stepped in and wrote a $10,000 check which took care of Rand's expenses.
Football coaches at the University of Delaware named a football play after Sally Rand. One explanation is that the play misdirected the defense, or in other words, like the dancer herself, the offense was showing more than they actually had.The name migrated to Canada, where a "naked bootleg" became known as a "Sally Rand" and was used to great effect by the B.C. Lions.
A striptease is an erotic or exotic dance in which the performer gradually undresses, either partly or completely, in a seductive and sexually suggestive manner. The person who performs a striptease is commonly known as a "stripper" or exotic dancer.
Blaze Starr was an American stripper and burlesque star. Her vivacious presence and inventive use of stage props earned her the nickname "The Hottest Blaze in Burlesque". She was also known for her affair with Louisiana Governor Earl Kemp Long. Based on her memoir Blaze Starr! My Life as Told to Huey Perry, the 1989 film Blaze told the story of latter affair starring Paul Newman as Long and Lolita Davidovich as Starr, with Starr herself acting in a cameo role and as a consultant.
The Burlesque Hall of Fame is the name of the burlesque museum located on South Main Street in Downtown Las Vegas. Formerly known as Exotic World, the museum historically was located on the site of an abandoned goat farm in Helendale, California. The museum documents the history of American burlesque from its 19th-century origins through its golden age in the mid-20th century, and displays artifacts commemorating historic burlesque performers.
Helen Morgan was an American singer and actress who worked in films and on the stage. A quintessential torch singer, she made a big splash in the Chicago club scene in the 1920s. She starred as Julie LaVerne in the original Broadway production of Hammerstein and Kern's musical Show Boat in 1927, as well as in the 1932 Broadway revival of the musical, and appeared in two film adaptations, a part-talkie made in 1929 and a full-sound version made in 1936, becoming firmly associated with the role. She suffered from bouts of alcoholism, and despite her notable success in the title role of another Hammerstein and Kern's Broadway musical, Sweet Adeline (1929), her stage career was relatively short. Helen Morgan died of cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 41. She was portrayed by Polly Bergen in the Playhouse 90 drama The Helen Morgan Story and by Ann Blyth in the 1957 biopic based on the television drama.
The bubble dance is an erotic dance made famous by Sally Rand in the 1930s. The dancer dances with a huge bubble placed between her body and the audience to make some interesting poses.
Natalie Kingston was an American actress.
Tempest Storm, also dubbed "The Queen Of Exotic Dancers," is an American burlesque star and motion picture actress. Along with Lili St. Cyr, Sally Rand, and Blaze Starr, she was one of the best-known burlesque performers of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Her career as an exotic dancer spanned more than 60 years and she was still performing in the early 21st century.
Mara Gaye, born Marjorie Helen Ginsberg in Bronx, New York, was a professional showgirl, dancer with the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes (1938–1943), and exotic burlesque striptease dancer of the 1940s through the 1960s. She also performed under the name Marjorie Gaye.
Hollywood Steps Out is a 1941 short Merrie Melodies cartoon by Warner Bros., directed by Tex Avery. The cartoon features caricatures by Ben Shenkman of Hollywood celebrities from the 1930s and early 1940s, including Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Wallace Beery, Bing Crosby, Greta Garbo, and Groucho Marx.
The Trial of Mary Dugan is a play written by Bayard Veiller.
The Forbidden City was a Chinese nightclub and cabaret in business from the late 1930s to the late 1950s, on the second floor of 363 Sutter Street in San Francisco between Chinatown and Union Square. The Forbidden City featured Asian American singers, dancers, chorus lines, magicians, strippers, and musicians. It was popular with military personnel who were transiting through San Francisco during World War II. The novel, and in turn the musical and film Flower Drum Song were inspired by the Forbidden City, as was the 1989 documentary, Forbidden City U.S.A.
Noel Toy was an American burlesque performer famous for her fan dance and bubble dance, initially at the Forbidden City nightclub in San Francisco, California. Later, she acted in films and on television.
Angel Cecelia Helene Walker is an American exotic dancer specializing in stripping and burlesque under her stage name Satan's Angel.
Faith Bacon was an American burlesque dancer and actress. During the height of her career, she was billed as "America's Most Beautiful Dancer".
Dirty Martini is a New York City-based Burlesque dancer, pin-up model and dance teacher.
Benn F. Reyes was an American publicist and impresario mainly known for his work in movies. Reyes' best-known ventures in this field were his collaborations with American director Stanley Kubrick, including the films LolitaDr. Strangelove and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
"Born Harriet Helen Beck in Elkton, Missouri, in 1904...
In June 1946, exotic dancer Sally Rand entered the stage at the Club Savoy near San Francisco's Union Square ...
Sally Rand's new San Francisco nitery, Club Savoy, has put up $1,750 with AGVA as a bond to cover the Slate Brothers' salaries
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