Virginia Bell-Tribute

Virginia was a burlesque dancer in 1954, who shot up to the top of the burlesque circuit earning upwards of $1500 per week. She was known for a cowboy striptease routine. In addition to exotic dancing, Bell was featured in a number of 8mm loop films, and also appeared in various men’s magazines such as Night and Day and Fling.Bell also starred in the feature film, Bell, Bare and Beautiful (1963). Bell’s husband, burlesque theater-owner Eli Jackson, had contacted exploitation filmmakers Herschell Gordon Lewis and David Friedman about making a film featuring his wife. Bell was pregnant at the time, and Lewis recalled, “I guess it was her first pregnancy because no one was sure that she would emerge from it and still be able to perform in burlesque. These fellows wanted to capture her on film before she lost her figure.”   One of Bell’s last performances was in the role of Julia in Fraulein Doktor, a 1969 Dino de Laurentiis World War I espionage story which Variety called a promising film concept that “emerges merely as another sloppily-made Italian import.”[ Virginia Bell retired in 1970.