80-year old Las Vegas Star Tempest Storm has met a lot of famous men: Frank Sinatra. Dean Martin. Nat King Cole. Mickey Rooney. Elvis – who Storm claims was her former lover.

Storm has been performing for about fifty years. She has traveled extensively: to Palm Springs and Miami, to Reno. Storm has even performed at Carnegie Hall. She has been married (once to fifties cowboy-movie star Herb Jeffries) four times.

Dubbed “the girl with the fabulous front” when she first began performing burlesque, Storm has been a well-known entertainer ever since. Storm has risen to the top by staying “classy.” She has never twirled on a pole. Storm is known for carrying a turkey-feather boa, and insists on removing her clothes slowly in the tradition of burlesque.

Some people claim that an 80-year old woman is no longer sexy. Storm says that is “ridiculous.”

“If you want to get old, you’ll get old,” Storm insists. She watches TV perched on her stationary bike, does not smoke, and eats in moderation. It’s important to take good care of herself, considering her job description. Storm can remove a dress in a matter of seconds, and has no qualms about being seen in a g-string.

Storm’s small, tidy Las Vegas apartment is a testament to her long career. There are pictures of Storm and the famous people (mostly men) that she has met throughout the years. There are also pictures of Storm’s daughter, who lives in Indiana and works as a nurse. Storm has mastered the self-timer setting on her camera, and has taken several pictures of herself in full makeup.  Storm is proud of the woman that she has become – and she should be, as she completely reinvented herself.

Tempest Storm was born Annie Blanche Banks. She decided to leave the family farm when she was in her early twenties to “become a star.” She started as a member of a chorus line in a Vegas show, but was quickly “moved to the spotlight.” She remembers feeling concerned that she was too buxom to be a showgirl. Clearly, that was never a problem.

She chose the name “Tempest Storm” (“I really don’t feel like a Sunny Day” she says) and the rest, as they say, is history. What’s her secret? Storm says it is her “warm presence” and “inviting smile” that have made her famous.

Tempest Storm is determined to perform until she dies. “I’m not ready to hang up my g-string yet. I’ve got too many fans that would be disappointed.”

Related article courtesy of MSNBC.com. Tempest Storm has her own MySpace page.

Nicolette Kuff is a freelance writer from Upstate NY.

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