STRIPPERS: AN APPRECIATION (Pt. 3)
Lets cut it to the bone: Blaze Starr was the goddamdest stripper of them all. She was one hot mama and apparently is still alive and well and working as a gemologist. Why I find this so cool I don't know; it's a little like learning that cigarettes are actually good for you I guess.
Starr, in her heyday (or hey-hey-hey-day!) was so smoking that the Governor of Lousiana, Earl Long, carried on a torrid, illicit affiar with her that was public knowlege. (I know that sounds like a contradiction but in the fifties and sixties people were still able to have publicly acknowledged illicit affairs--look at Kennedy and Monroe, for Chrissakes). Long's affair with the buxom Ms. Starr actually landed him in a mental hospital shortly before his death in 1960. He left her fifty grand in his will which she refused to take. Their relationship was dramatized (but not immortalized) in the desultory screen bio "Blaze", starring Paul Newman and Lolita Davidovich,--in my opinion, one of the great lost opportunities of the biopic genre.
It's not just Starr's "expansive upper regional domes" --as Charles Chaplin, writing in his autobiography with the unusual title "My Autobiography" referred to Joan Barry's physique (she who landed him in court on a bogus rape charge in the mid forties shortly before his marriage to the underage Oona O'Neil and the ultimate refusal of his Visa for Communistic tendencies etc. etc. enough!) that make Starr so tantalizing a subject. Watch this very nice black and white mid-1950's view of Starr through to the end. Somewhere after the four minute mark (it runs five and change) you'll see what I mean. I won't give it away. Suffice to say that if you believe in reincarnation, you probably will want to come back to life as a piece of furniture once used in a short film of a stripper named Blaze Starr, who in her heyday was so smoking that the Governor of Louisiana...
Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 2:21 PM