Searching for Blaze Starr (NSFW)

Blaze Starr, a Baltimore icon and burlesque queen supreme, died on June 15. Starr began dancing at the 2 O’Clock Club in 1950 and her outrageous and witty routines, including an act involving a baby panther and a smoking-couch trick (see page 11) would make her famous. Her high-profile affair with Louisiana politician Earl Long served as the basis of the Paul Newman film, “Blaze.” When the movie came out in 1989, Starr told The New York Times, “I was at ease being a stripper. I kept my head held high, and if there is such a thing as getting nude with class, then I did it.” Starr eventually purchased the 2 O’Clock Club, a cornerstone club on The Block, and it was her name and presence that made the nightclub and Baltimore’s infamous red-light strip so iconic. A few days after her death at the age of 83, City Paper spent two nights at The Block searching for the remaining signs of Blaze Starr.

Photos and Interviews by J.M. Giordano
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