Well folks, Lili St. Cyr was born as Willis Marie Van Schaack in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1918. She had a sister, Rosemary Van Schaack Minsky. Her grandparents, the Klarquists, reared her and her two show business sisters, Dardy Orlando and Barbara Moffett. Having taken ballet lessons throughout her youth, she began to dance professionally as a chorus line girl in Hollywood. Unlike other women who have stroke-of-luck stories about being plucked from the chorus line and selected for a feature role, St. Cyr had to beg her manager at the club to let her do a solo act. From her self-choreographed act she eventually landed a bit part at a club called the Music Box in San Francisco, with an act called the Duncan Sisters. It was here that she came to a revelation: A dancer’s salary was only a small fraction of what the featured star’s salary was. The difference? The featured star was nude. She had an illustrious career and is one of the founding girls in the “burlesque” scene.

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