Betty Rowland

Burlesque dancer and stripper Betty Jane Rowland was born on January 23, 1916 in Columbus, Ohio. Her father was an accountant who lost his job during the Great Depression. Betty and her sisters Dian and Roz Elle all started out as dancers in vaudeville before making the transition into burlesque. Rowland performed at the famous club Minsky’s in New York City, where she earned the nickname “Ball of Fire” from both her flaming red hair and hot and fast style of dancing. After New York shut down its burlesque houses in 1938, Betty moved to Los Angeles, California to continue her career in burlesque. Rowland had several run-ins with the law throughout her burlesque career: In 1952 two police officers closed her show at a downtown burlesque theater after the manager refused to let them in for free and she spent three weeks in a Lincoln Heights jail before going on to embark on a nationwide burlesque tour. In the wake of retiring from the burlesque circuit in the mid-1960’s, Betty helped run various bars, worked as a hostess at the French restaurant Anisette in Santa Monica, California; and settled down to live in a one bedroom apartment in Brentwood, California

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