Tempest Storm

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tempest Storm
Exotic World 2006
Born Annie Banks
(1928-02-29) February 29, 1928 (age 88)
Eastman, Georgia, U.S.
Occupation Burlesque Superstar, Exotic Dancer, Film Actress
Years active 1951-2012
Spouse(s) Herb Jeffries (m. Error: Invalid time.)
Website www.facebook.com/tempeststormfilm

Tempest Storm, born Annie Banks (February 29, 1928),[1] and dubbed the Queen of Exotic Dancers [2] is a 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. She is regarded as having one of the longest careers as an exotic dancer, spanning more than 60 years. She was still performing in the early 21st century.

Early life and career[edit]

Storm was born Annie Banks in Eastman, Georgia.[1][a]

By the age of 20, she had already been married and divorced twice and decided to go to Hollywood. Her professional debut was at El Rey Theater in Oakland, California. She adopted the stage name of Tempest Storm around 1950 and changed it legally in 1957. In 1955, while working at the Tropics Nightclub in Denver, Tempest visited the University of Colorado's Boulder campus. All she took off was her mink coat, but this started a near-riot.[3]

Feature performer[edit]

Storm was a regular performer for many years at El Rey, a burlesque theater in Oakland, California, as well as at clubs around the United States, including in Las Vegas. She was famous for her physical measurements (44DD-25-35) and her naturally red hair. She was featured in numerous men's magazines and burlesque movies, including French Peep Show (1950), Paris After Midnight (1951), Striptease Girl (1952), Teaserama, (1955) and Buxom Beautease (1956).[2]

In 1953 she moved to Portland, Oregon and worked at the Star Theater. A few months later she moved over to the Capital Theater down the street after her then-husband John Becker bought it. The owner of the Star then brought Becker's ex-wife, and rival burlesque star, Arabelle Andre to the Star to perform as "John's Other Wife."[4] This sparked a "burlesque war" that made it into the pages of LIFE magazine on November 30, 1953. In the late 1950s, her breasts – "moneymakers" as she called them – were insured by Lloyd's of London for one million dollars.[5]

Documentary Film[edit]

In 2016 the documentary film Tempest Storm[6] allowed the iconic dancer to share her story with audiences. Over the last five decades Tempest Storm made headlines around the world, but for a woman who spent most of her life on stage and in the spotlight, she has always remained very private about her personal life. The film is directed by acclaimed director Nimisha Mukerji[7] (Best known for her award-winning film 65 Redroses for the Oprah Winfrey Network), co-produced by broadcaster Kaitlyn Regehr and features, in her own words, the personal and professional struggles, heartbreaks and triumphs of one of America's oldest living sex icon.


Storm told her life story to writer Bill Boyd, whose transcriptions of her dictations formed the 1987 book 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, where one of her G-strings is part of the museum's display.

Storm officially retired from regular performance in 1995 at the age of 67, but has done occasional stage performances since. In 1999 she stripped in San Francisco's O'Farrell Theatre to mark the club's 30-year anniversary. Mayor Willie Brown declared a "Tempest Storm Day" in her honor.[1]


Storm was married four times, once to singer Herb Jeffries.[2] She has one daughter.[citation needed]

She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.[8]


  1. ^ "Tempest was one of the only strippers who legally changed her name to her moniker." [2]


External links[edit]