Godmother of Burlesque, Dixie Evans, dies at 86

Aug. 18, 2013 at 3:19 PM

LAS VEGAS, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Dixie Evans, known as the "Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque" died in Las Vegas of natural causes, her biographer, Lynn Sally, said. She was 86.

Evans, who died Aug. 3, ran the Exotic World Museum in Helendale, Calif., from 1990, which later became the Burlesque Hall of Fame when it moved to Las Vegas in 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

The so-called Godmother of Burlesque became famous in the 1950s for imitating the look and mannerisms of actress Marilyn Monroe and was known for emphasizing the way in which burlesque dancers and strippers removed their clothes, not the nudity itself, the Times said.

"It wasn't about taking your clothes off," she told the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger newspaper in 2007. "It was the way you took them off."

"We've always been sort of old-fashioned, fuddy-duddy," she said of the Miss Exotic World competition for burlesque dancers she began in 1991. She was disappointed when the competitors emphasized full-on nudity.

Evans, born Mary Lee Evans, is survived by her sister, Betty.

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