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Dixie Evans, 1927-2013.

Dixie Evans, Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque, 1927-2013

Las Vegas, California

The mirage of retired strippers dancing in the desert shimmers a little more dimly with the passing of Dixie Evans. Dixie, 86, died peacefully on August 3, 2013 in Las Vegas after suffering a stroke earlier this year. Dixie ran the fabulous Exotic World in the Mojave Desert in Helendale, CA, until it closed in 2006, and she moved to Las Vegas.

At the gates with gal pals, Helendale, CA, 1991.
At the gates with gal pals, Helendale, CA, 1991.

Dixie was known as the "Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque," and with little coaxing during museum tours she'd launch into a breathy starlet imitation. The museum, in a couple of outbuildings on her ranch home in Helendale, exhibited priceless artifacts from the golden age of burlesque and exotic dancing.

We first visited Exotic World in 1988, while it was still under the stewardship of the late Jenny Lee ("The Bazoom Girl"). Dixie had taken the curatorial reigns by our next trip, and we returned several more times because it was so great. Dixie was the perfect museum hostess; there was always a new artifact and a new story, and it wasn't unusual to encounter retired exotic dancers out at the ranch. Her photo was featured on the back cover of our 1992 book "The New Roadside America."

Dixie hosted the annual Exotic World Pageant each year, which continued on after it moved. Dixie would make special appearances at events and at the Burlesque Hall of Fame museum on Fremont Street.

One unique aspect of the original Exotic World collection was its display of urns containing cremated remains of legendary dancers (and friends of Dixie), mixed in with displays of G-strings and pasties. It may be too much to hope for a Dixie urn to be displayed at the Burlesque Hall of Fame, in Las Vegas, but she'll live on in our snapshots, furtive videos, and memories.

Also see: Burlesque Hall of Fame | Hall of Immortals

Exotic World - Strippers Hall of Fame


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