Tempest Storm

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Tempest Storm (born Annie Banks; February 29, 1928)[1] is an American exotic dancer, 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 and 1960s. She is regarded as having one of the longest careers as a burlesque performer, 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 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.[citation needed]


Storm (with writer Bill Boyd) told her life story in 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.[5]


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


External links[edit]