Famed burlesque performer Dixie Evans, called the “godmother of burlesque” who later ran a pageant and museum for strippers, has died on natural causes in Las Vegas, her biographer said. Evans was 86. Evans emphasized tease, not stripping, in her act, which many considered sexier than Marilyn Monroe, who Evans imitated in the 1950s to get her big break. Evans later opened a museum dedicated to burlesque and strippers, which contained memorabilia including Sally Rand’s fans, lingerie owned by Gypsy Rose Lee, and pasties in every color of the rainbow. In 1991, she started the Miss Exotic World pageant, which drew performers from all over the world.
RIP Damian Dovarganes/AP