Born 1904 as Helen Gould Beck in Elkton, Missouri, American burlesque dancer, vedette and actress Sally Rand got her start on the stage quite early, working as a chorus girl at Kansas City’s Empress Theater when she was only 13. During the 1920s, she acted on stage and appeared in silent films and was selected as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1927.
Rand also performed under the name Billie Beck. After the introduction of sound films, she became a dancer, most noted for her ostrich feather fan dance and balloon bubble dance.
Rand continued to appear on stage doing her fan dance into the 1970s. She once replaced Ann Corio in the stage show, This Was Burlesque, appeared at the Mitchell Brothers club in San Francisco in the early 1970s and toured as one of the stars of the 1972 nostalgia revue “Big Show of 1928,” which played major concert venues, including New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Describing her 40-year career, Rand said, “I haven’t been out of work since the day I took my pants off.” She died in 1979 at Foothill Presbyterian Hospital, in Glendora, California, aged 75, from congestive heart failure.
Take a look at these glamorous photos to see the beauty of young Sally Rand in the 1920s and 1930s.