Born 1918 as Willis Marie Van Schaack in Minneapolis, Minnesota, prominent American burlesque stripteaser Lili St. Cyr has taken ballet lessons throughout her youth, she began to dance professionally as a chorus line girl in Hollywood.
From the 1940s and most of the 1950s, St. Cyr with Gypsy Rose Lee and Ann Corio were the most recognized acts in striptease. St. Cyr’s stage name is a patronymic of the French aristocracy, which she first used when booked as a nude performer in Las Vegas.
In 1953, St. Cyr landed her first acting job in a major motion picture in the Son of Sinbad. She also had a role in the movie version of Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead in 1958. But St. Cyr’s movie career was short lived, and typically she settled for playing a secondary role as a stripper, or playing herself. Her dancing is featured prominently in two Irving Klaw films, Varietease and Teaserama.
St. Cyr was also known for her pin-up photography, especially for photos taken by Bruno Bernard, known professionally as “Bernard of Hollywood”, a premier glamor photographer of Hollywood’s Golden Era. Bernard said that she was his favorite model and referred to her as his muse.
St. Cyr died in Los Angeles, California in 1999, aged 80.
Take a look at these stunning photos to see the beauty of blond bombshell Lili St. Cyr in the 1950s.