April 10, 1932: Striptease Artist Blaze Starr Born in Wayne County

Apr 10, 2017

Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On April 10, 1932, striptease artist Blaze Starr was born in Wayne County as Fanny Belle Fleming. At age 14, she left home for Logan, where she worked at a drive-in. After catching a bus to Washington, her life soon changed in unexpected ways.

A date took her to a burlesque club in Baltimore. She bragged to the owner that she could do a better job than his current dancers. Renamed Blaze Starr, she became the star attraction at Sol Goodman’s Two O’ Clock Club.

In 1959, she was performing at a New Orleans club when she met Louisiana Governor Earl Long, brother of the legendary Huey Long. Starr and Earl Long began an affair, mortifying the governor’s supporters while giving fodder to his opponents. After Long died of a heart attack, Starr moved back to Baltimore, bought the Two O’ Clock Club, and adapted her act to become more of a comedienne.

In 1974, she wrote her autobiography with coauthor Huey Perry of Huntington. In 1989, the book was turned into the movie Blaze, starring Paul Newman as Earl Long and Lolita Davidovich as Starr.