Tempest Storm

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Tempest Storm
publicity photo

This article is part of
"The Pin-up Girl History Project"
"The Burlesque History Project"
Click here for information on Special History Projects

Tempest Storm (born Annie Blanche Banks on February 29, 1928 in Eastman, Georgia) was an American star of burlesque and a motion picture actress.

Early years

A victim of child abuse, she ran away from home as a young girl. By age 20 she had been twice married and divorced and headed for Hollywood. Her beauty landed her work as a chorus girl, but her curvaceous figure and very generous and natural 40" bosom and 22" waist combined with a magnetic stage personality led to a highly successful career in burlesque. Her professional debut was at the El Rey Theater in Oakland, California. She took Tempest Storm as her stage name around 1950, legally changing her name in 1957.

Irving Klaw photo of
Tempest Storm


Tempest was a regular performer for many years on stage at a burlesque theatre in Oakland, California as well as at other clubs around the United States including in Las Vegas. Tempest was famous for her astounding physical measurements (44DD-25-35) and her red hair. She was featured in numerous 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), and other films. She travelled extensively during her career, and did many performances in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada. In the late 1950s, her breasts, or her "moneymakers" as she called them, were insured by Lloyds of London for one million dollars. In the 1950s and 60s she starred in a number of motion pictures both as herself and in a character role. Much admired for her intelligence, personality and sense of humor, over the years, icons such as Walter Cronkite joined the line up of personalities to have their photo taken with her.

During her career, she was romantically linked with John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Vic Damone.

Along with Lili St. Cyr and Blaze Starr, Tempest was among the most famous burlesque performers of the 1950's and 1960's. She is regarded as having one of the longest careers as a burlesque performer.

Retirement and current life

With writer Bill Boyd, Ms. Storm told her life story in a 1987 book titled 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, her G-string part of the museum's display.

Tempest officially retired in 1995 at the age of 67, but has done the occasional stage performance since then. She still receives requests for interviews about her life.

In 1999 she stripped in San Francisco's O'Farrell Theater to mark the club's 30 year anniversary; Mayor Willie Brown declared a "Tempest Storm Day" in her honor. (see: Storm Still Packs a Wallop 1950s burlesque icon takes it off again for O'Farrell Theatre anniversary [1]

Tempest was married four times. She has one daughter, from her last marriage to singer and Cowboy actor Herb Jeffries which ended in divorce. She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Also see the page [ Tempest Storm Interview ]


Irving Klaw with Tempest Storm

External links


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