RIP Dixie Evans: The Burlesque Community Responds

RIP Dixie Evans: The Burlesque Community Responds

There are ongoing arguments about the use of the term ‘burlesque community’, but friends, fans and supporters of Dixie Evans across the world are truly united in mourning the loss of a vibrant, immeasurably important lady with a fascinating and remarkable life for us to acknowledge and celebrate.

Dixie Evans and Holli-Mae Johnson, Editor-in-Chief of 21st Century Burlesque Magazine.
Dixie Evans and Holli-Mae Johnson, Editor-in-Chief of 21st Century Burlesque Magazine.

Thanks to Laura Herbert, I have my own personal memory of Dixie Evans to treasure. I spent a few precious hours in Dixie’s company at the museum space in 2011, during which she shared touching, amazing and often hilarious stories from her early life and her time in burlesque.  I felt deep emotion, affection and gratitude as she took my arm and we walked around the exhibition. 

She was very interested to hear about this magazine, and I was told yesterday that she was shown the website and loved it, which means so much to me.

The following are some of the tributes and statements published online over the past few days.

Dixie Evans‬ was our fairy godmother and will be missed by us all. Very sad tonight.

Dirty Martini (Miss Exotic World 2004)

Sad night after the passing of Dixie Evans, “The Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque” and woman responsible for the Exotic World museum (which became BHoF) and the Miss Exotic World competition. I literally owe both my career and the vast, loving, AMAZING community I serve through that career to her. I’ve seen hundreds of people posting about her tonight, about the mark she made on their lives, and I know she will be missed terribly and remembered sweetly. My heart goes out to the people closest to her and to everyone whose life she has touched as she touched mine.

Dustin Wax (Executive Director, The Burlesque Hall of Fame.)

A few years ago I was onstage in Las Vegas, part of a red, white, and blue lineup put together by Julie Atlas Muz to pay tribute to the way the Miss Exotic World pageant always started on the goat farm in Helendale. We were all waiting for the curtain to open. Dixie Evans was standing centerstage in a gown and boa, supported by World Famous BOB. I was on the end of the line, which curved around from the back of the stage. I had a great view of Dixie from the side. She shifted her boa onto her shoulders and just then the stage lights came on behind the curtain. As soon as the light hit her face, she stood up straighter, raised her chin, and smiled a huge showgirl smile. The curtain opened and the audience went nuts. It has always stayed with me, the way she transformed under those stage lights. She gave light back.

Jo Weldon  (Co-Director of Education, The Burlesque Hall of Fame. Author of The Burlesque Handbook.)

I just heard of the passing of Dixie Evans. She holds a very special place in my heart. I’m so sad to hear this news. RIP

Michelle L’amour (Miss Exotic World 2005.)

Dixie Evans at the Grand Opening of the Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum's new space in downtown Las Vegas in 2010. ©Derek Jackson
Dixie Evans at the Grand Opening of the Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum’s new space in downtown Las Vegas in 2010. ©Derek Jackson

Dixie was a wonderful lady, she coached me on my first feather fan dance back in ’93, showed me around the Exotic World Burlesque Museum she maintained, and was certainly a great source of encouragement to me in pursuing burlesque.  She will not be forgotten by me and the majority of the neo-burlesque community.

Dita Von Teese

Thank you for your inspiration & love towards Burlesque. I’m so grateful I got to meet you. R.I.P Dixie Evans, The one and only, legendary “Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque”.

LouLou D’vil (Miss Exotic World 2013.)

Very sorry to hear of Dixie Evan’s passing, she was a wonderful woman.

Catherine D’Lish (Miss Exotic World 1992 and 1994.)

Rest in peace Dixie Evans. One of the greatest legends to ever live. Thank you for bridging the gap and bringing us all together. We will shimmy in your honour.

Roxi D’Lite (Miss Exotic World 2010.)

Tempest Storm, Dixie Evans, World Famous BOB, and Miss Exotic World 2009, Kalani Kokonuts.
Tempest Storm, Dixie Evans, World Famous BOB, and Miss Exotic World 2009, Kalani Kokonuts.

I’m so sad to hear that our beloved Dixie Evans has passed. Thank you Dixie for making Exotic World possible. For in doing so you created a home for many a lost showgirl; somewhere for strippers and our history to be admired and treasured, rather than judged, despised or disregarded. So really, Dixie, you changed the world – if even only for our community.
I am so proud to be a Miss Exotic World if only to carry your flame and inspiration for future generations. Rest In Pasties. Xxx

Imogen Kelly (Miss Exotic World 2012.)

It was because of Dixie Evans that I met so many of my burlesque friends. She is the reason that we came together. She was our early beacon of shinning light. She was our Mecca. Dixie, Our Lady of Burlesque, is no longer with us in the flesh but her spirit lives on in each of us. XO

Kitten DeVille (Miss Exotic World 2002.)

Dixie Evans was made of stardust and other things. She passed away in Las Vegas yesterday at the age of 86. Dixie was a force and spirit like no other. She generously conjured a ceremonial home at Exotic World for a whole generation of striptease artists, rebels, misfits and outsiders. She honored the wit and artistry of strippers by building the only museum in the world dedicated to them. And with a dream and a social security check, she steadfastly transformed the erotic and gender politics of our time. She will reverberate through our lives and on stages across the world hereafter. In honor of her, during Dixie Evans Week, Exotic World and the Burlesque Revival will be screening in Helsinki.

Red Vaughan Tremmel (Director of Exotic World and the Burlesque Revival.)

So very sad to hear of burlesque legend Dixie Evan’s passing today. RIP Dixie. Thank you for everything. U will be forever missed.

Melody Sweets

Dixie Evans.
Dixie Evans.

I love you Dixie and thank you very much for your big love. I am very sad to say good bye right now. Please rest in peace. I have never forget when I met you first time at the very quiet old museum in Helendale, CA. Only Charlie was there. He showed me everything. I was waiting for you to come home. It was 2001 . My friend and I had to go back to Vegas. She asked me to leave here before dark. but I asked her to wait until Dixie is back. Then almost we gave up to wait. Suddenly the door was open at the big room. Dixie was there. But I couldn’t see her. Dixie was lit up by the setting sun and also I couldn’t stop my tears were falling down.

Erochica Bamboo (Miss Exotic World 2003.)

Dixie Evans … I am at a loss for words. I can only imagine the animated tours you will be giving wherever you are. You can rest well knowing how many hearts you touched, creatives you have inspired, worlds you turned on their heads. with love. goodnight.

Little Brooklyn

Rest in peace, dearest Dixie Evans. Your light will continue to shine through the many you have nurtured and inspired.

Nadine DuBois

Dixie Evans giving a tour of the Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum in downtown Las Vegas.  ©Burlesque Hall of Fame
Dixie Evans giving a tour of the Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum in downtown Las Vegas. ©Burlesque Hall of Fame

Rest in Peace Dixie Evans…you were always an incredible spirit at Exotic World and in Vegas, thank you for some of the most special times of my life digging and shuffling in the desert dust and winds in high heels and barley nothing else, thank you for your glamour and spirit till the end. Dixie would always say to me, “Mimi, i remember you were one of the first girls to come out to the desert , i always remember what you were wearing…” God Speed Dixie…..Love Mimi

Mimi Le Meaux

Oh, Dixie. Thank you for making me aware of burlesque, and loving the art and all of us so much.  The burlesque revitalization movement that has now saturated the counterculture would not exist without your passion to keep Miss Exotic World alive. I’ll never forget getting to feed her one of my tassel roasted marshmallows to her in Las Vegas. One of my best moments in burlesque. RIP

Lady Monster

I met Dixie Evans, “The Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque” when she gave me, Jim Compton and Casey Daboll a tour in 2001 when we stopped in to Exotic World on our way to LA. I couldn’t believe how she brought history to life- everything I’d been studying in old books came alive when she spoke. I rushed back the next year to enter the pageant and she made me feel so welcome, like I was a star performer, even though I was still just a baby. She honored me immensely when she wrote the foreword to my book, and I couldn’t wait to show it to her at the pageant and reunion in 2004. It made her so happy and she kept telling me how proud she was of the book. When it was time to move her and the museum to Vegas, I jumped at the chance to help out. She was very sad to leave the ranch behind, after all she had struggled to build, but she understood that it was time to get her and her collection out of the harsh desert.

Dixie Evans and Michelle Baldwin.
Dixie Evans and Michelle Baldwin.

The 2006 pageant and reunion was in Vegas for the first time and the first night was a benefit for the museum at The Beauty Bar. I was just exited to be able to perform my Marilyn “File My Claim” number for Dixie, and so I was over the moon when she told me she loved it!

Dixie is the Godmother of new burlesque- she made sure we all knew the history and introduced the new girls to the legends. Her pageant and her museum connected us all. She may be gone from the burlesque stage forever, but she will never be forgotten. We must celebrate her legacy by holding dear and taking care of her museum, and all the living legends!

Michelle Baldwin (Author of Burlesque and the New Bump-n-Grind.)

Dixie Evans on stage at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2010.  ©Derek Jackson
Dixie Evans on stage at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2010. ©Derek Jackson

I am devastated to hear about the passing of my good friend Dixie Evans yesterday. She was the grandmother of modern Burlesque and a true friend to us all, I was so glad to have spent time with her recently and way back in 1990 she gave me a sofa and a open door into this amazing world of Burlesque. A legend in every sense of the word I am devastated to have lost a friend, and the reason I have this career. Rock on Dixie and give them hell!

Neil Kendall (Burlesque photographer.)

So saddened to hear about the passing of Dixie Evans, “The Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque” and the one who kept classic burlesque alive through some lean years. I was lucky enough to see Dixie in her element at the goat farm in Helendale. I was also lucky enough to interview her. When she started talking, it was as if she was under the stage spotlight once again. Even though her light is gone, we should celebrate how she helped light the light of modern burlesque that shines so bright!

Jason ‘Java’ Croft (Editor of Bachelor Pad Magazine.)

Dixie Evans on stage at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2009.  ©Don Spiro
Dixie Evans on stage at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2009. ©Don Spiro

RIP Dixie Evans….The Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque! Sending love to her dear friends and family xxxx

Captain Kidd (BHoF Best Boylesque 2011.)

Dixie Evans, we’ll miss you more than you could know. Your influence on us was direct and unsurpassed. Without you I wouldn’t have the career I have. I know you stand now behind the curtain with proud shoulders and wistful eyes. As it opens the heavens will applaud as we have for 6 decades. Shake it for the angels Lady and…thank you.

Franky Vivid

Dixie Evans speaking at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2009 Legends Panel.  ©Don Spiro
Dixie Evans speaking at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2009 Legends Panel. ©Don Spiro

R.I.P. Dixie Evans, legendary burlesque star, who died last night. I met her this June in Las Vegas and saw the spark in her eyes when she told me and Julie about shows she’d done, talking about “playing strong” etc. Check out some of her work on You Tube, she was amazing…We shall honour her at Sleaze on Sept 4th, a few days late for Dixie Evans week, but you can’t let someone as important as her to the history & legacy of burlesque, go without a decent goodbye.

Mat Fraser

Update from Dixie Evans Week Team

With the passing of Dixie Evans on August 3rd, 2013, Dixie Evans Week will now become a week of honoring the memory and celebrating the life of one of our most cherished legends, Dixie Evans. All funds raised during Dixie Evans Week through online funding, live shows and classes will be used to cover the existing costs of outstanding medical bills and preparations for Dixie’s final accommodation. Please be patient with us while we re-evaluate our new funding goal; updates will be posted on www.dixieevansweek.com as well as on her You Caring site. We thank you for your continued support, and we know that Dixie will be with us if not in body in spirit as we celebrate her life.

It was because of Dixie Evans that I met so many of my burlesque friends. She is the reason that we came together , She was our early beacon of shinning light . She was our Mecca. Dixie,Our Lady of Burlesque, is no longer with us in the flesh but her spirt lives on with in each of us. XO

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21st Century Burlesque
Quoted in major international newspapers and held in high esteem and affection by the international burlesque community, 21st Century Burlesque Magazine has documented the contemporary burlesque scene since 2007. Founded and edited by Holli-Mae Johnson.
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