Phyllis Dixey (10 February 1914 — 2 June 1964) was a British singer, dancer and impresario. Her earlier career was as a singer in variety shows in Britain. During World War II, she joined ENSA and entertained the British forces. She sang, recited and posed in naked tableaux for them, which were very popular.
Dixey was born in Merton, Surrey. In 1942 she formed her own company of girls and rented the Whitehall Theatre in London to put on a review called The Whitehall Follies. This was the first striptease show put on in the West End of London, but not the first show to have nude studies as the Windmill reviews were already in existence. She stayed at the Whitehall for the next five years producing the Peek-a-boo reviews. Her performance was at the time considered artistic and she thought that it was an art form. She was known as the "Queen of Striptease".
Film and theatre
She appeared in two films Love up the Pole in 1936 and Dual Alibi in 1946. In 2009, a play about Dixey was staged at the Pomegranate Theatre in Chesterfield called Barely Phyllis. Her life was portrayed in the 1978 British TV-movie The One and Only Phyllis Dixey, in which she was played by Lesley-Anne Down. It was written by Philip Purser.
By 1947 the tastes of the London audience had changed, and Phyllis Dixey was forced to return to the provinces. She was not able to adapt to the direction that the public required. leaving the stage, in the late 1950s, bankrupt. She died of cancer in 1964, aged 50, in Epsom, Surrey.
In 2011, English Heritage made plans to erect a blue plaque at Dixey's former home at Wentworth Court in Surbiton, however the installation of the plaque was turned down by the current residents of the building due to the proposed title 'Striptease Artiste' being used on the plaque. Negotiations between English Heritage and the residents association remain ongoing regarding its text and installation.
- Dual Alibi (1947)
- Roger Wilmut Kindly Leave the Stage: Story of Variety, 1919-60, 1985, Methuen, ISBN 0-413-59290-1
- Philip Purser and Jenny Wilkes: "The One And Only Phyllis Dixey", 1978, Futura Publications, London; ISBN 0-7088-1436-0
- "Phyllis Dixey Her Show-Her Home", 29 January 1944. Illustrated Magazine.
- Roye: "Phyllis Dixey Album The Spotlight on Beauty Series No.3". The Camera Studies Club, Elstree.
- Roye: "Phyllis in Censorland",1942, Elstree Publications Ltd. and the The Camera Studies Club, a larger edition 1950s.
- British Pathe film. Meet Phyllis Dixey; released 30-10-1944