LEGENDARY burlesque star Tempest Storm has died aged 93 after a short battle with dementia.
The performer, who dated Elvis Presley and reportedly had a fling with President John F. Kennedy, passed away in her Las Vegas apartment on Tuesday.
Tempest was also struggling after undergoing hip surgery on April 8 and was under round-the-clock care until her death.
The performer, who had her 44DD breasts insured for $1million, had a six-decade stage career and was still headlining shows in Sin City in her 80s.
“Tempest was easily one of the best-known and highest-regarded burlesque [performers] of all time, and was an active part of the burlesque community right to the end,” Burlesque Hall of Fame executive director Dustin Wax told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“She will be missed terribly in the burlesque community and well beyond it.”
“She was the last of the great legends in the golden age of burlesque,” her longtime friend and business partner Harvey Robbins added.
“She was perhaps the biggest of all.”
Tempest was born Annie Blanche Banks in 1928 and left home in the seventh grade.
She moved to Hollywood at the tender age of 15 and took up work as a waitress, during which time a customer suggested she try striptease.
In 1951, she scored an audition with Follies Theater and had to choose a stage name – either Sunny Day or Tempest Storm.
Tempest became a huge figure in the burlesque world and by 1956 was the highest highest-paid performer ever with a 10-year contract at $100,000 at the Bryan-Engels burlesque production company.
She also dabbled in film, nabbing a role alongside Bettie Page in the 1955 film Teaserama.
The dancer, whose famous friends included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and Marilyn Monroe, also had some high-profile romances.
Tempest had a fling with Elvis and even claimed to have had an affair with JFK.
“Elvis the Pelvis,” she told local news outlet WQAD8 in 2013.
“It was 1956. I was appearing at The Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas, which is now the Bellagio. We had a burlesque review and he came to see the show.
"He came over and sat down – he had the most beautiful eyes – and we got into a relationship and it was absolutely fantastic. He was a real Southern gentleman. Very polite.”
Her alleged fling with JFK reportedly started before he became president.
“I met him in 1957 when he was a senator. It was a great relationship. He was a great man in his politics and everything," she claimed.
"I hadn’t seen him for years, and the last time I saw him, I said, ‘You’re going to be president,’ and he said, ‘I hope you’re right!’"
In 1959, the year before JFK became president, Tempest married singer and actor Herb Jeffries and they had a daughter, Patricia.
The couple divorced in 1967 and she was reportedly estranged from Patricia at the time of her death.
Tempest's final performance was in 2010 at the Plaza for the Burlesque Hall of Fame reunion show and she hosted the “Tempest Storm’s Las Vegas Burlesque Revue” a few months later.
“The crowds went crazy for us, and for burlesque. It was like the first time I’d ever been onstage," she said at the time.
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