Ann Corio in YANK magazine, 1943
November 29, 1909
|Died||March 1, 1999
Englewood, New Jersey
|Occupation||burlesque ecdysiast and actress|
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, she was one of twelve children of Italian immigrant parents. While still in her teens, Corio's good looks and shapely physique landed her showgirl roles that led to her becoming a hugely popular striptease artist. Her rise to stardom as a featured performer on the burlesque circuit began in 1925, working in theatres such as the famous Minsky's Burlesque in New York City and Boston's old Howard Theatre.
After Mayor Fiorello La Guardia closed down New York City's burlesque houses in 1939, Corio made her way to Los Angeles. Between 1941 and 1944 she appeared in several Hollywood "B" motion pictures which featured her in scanty costumes (beginning with 1941 Swamp Woman), the best known of which was perhaps 1942's Jungle Siren opposite Buster Crabbe. In 1944 she made Call of the Jungle and Sarong Girl. A year earlier Ms Corio was guest armchair detective on radio's The Adventures of Ellery Queen, on the January 7th episode entitled, "The Adventure of the Singing Rat". With the Second World War on, she became one of the volunteer pin-up girls for YANK magazine, appearing in the September 3, 1943 issue of the weekly U.S. Army publication.
Corio had a long successful career dancing on stage. In 1962 she put together the nostalgic off-Broadway show This Was Burlesque which she directed and in which also performed. In 1968, she wrote a book with the same title. Her fame was enduring enough that in the 1970s—when Corio was long retired and in her sixties—she twice was a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. During this same period, she took This Was Burlesque out on the summer stock circuit for several seasons. In 1981, the show played Broadway at the old Latin Quarter, which was then known as the Princess Theatre, and tried to compete with Sugar Babies which was running just a few blocks up the street. In 1985, she mounted the show for the second to last time in downtown Los Angeles, at the Variety Arts Theatre, where it did not have a good run. A year or so later, the show played a dinner theatre in Florida, where it closed for good. Ann can take credit for grooming Lou Costello into the wonderful comedian we know today. She gave him his start on her show "The Ann Corio Show."
- Lawrence Van Gelder (March 9, 1999). "Ann Corio, a Burlesque Queen on Broadway, Is Dead". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
Ann Corio, the auburn-haired, green-eyed queen of burlesque whose long-running show, This Was Burlesque, kept alive the art of strippers and the comedy of baggy-pants clowns in the age of the X-rated film, died on March 1 at Englewood Hospital in Englewood, New Jersey. Ms. Corio, a resident of Cliffside Park, New Jersey, kept her age a closely guarded secret, but was believed to be in her 80's.
- Zemeckis, Leslie (2013). [www.behindtheburlyq.com Behind The Burly Q] Check |url= scheme (help). Delaware: Skyhorse. ISBN 978-1-62087-691-6.
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