Posts Tagged ‘musical theater’
Candy Barr (July 6, 1935 – December 30, 2005) was an American stripper, burlesque exotic dancer, actress in one pornographic movie, and model in men’s magazines of the mid-20th century.
Born Juanita Dale Slusher in Edna, Texas, the youngest of five children, at age 16, she appeared in one of the first [full length] pornographic movies, Smart Alec (1951). Later, Barr established herself in burlesque and striptease with her trademark costume—cowboy hat, pasties, scant panties, a pair of pearl handled cap six-shooters in a holster strapped low on her shapely hips, and cowboy boots. Married three times, and widowed once when she shot her second husband, she was also involved with Jack Ruby and Mickey Cohen. Later in her life, she was honored by Texas Monthly as one history’s “perfect Texans,” and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Exotic World Burlesque Museum.
Ms. Barr shares another distinction with the likes of Groucho Marx, Truman Capote, Frank Zappa, and rapper Eazy-E: they were all posthumously baptized into the Mormon Church.
Some time in 1842, the prophet Joseph Smith introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints a temple ceremony called Baptism for the Dead, followed shortly by a full complement of salvific ordinances-by-proxy for dead ancestors, which he justified again in 1844:
A man may act as proxy for his own relatives; the ordinances of the Gospel which were laid out before the foundations of the world have thus been fulfilled by them, and we may be baptized for those whom we have much friendship for.
Joseph Smith on May 12, 1844
History of the Church, 6:365–66
But the original spirit of the ordinances seems to have given way to a general enthusiasm for conversion, and members of the Church began trying to ‘redeem’ everyone they could identify. Some members took a shortcut and performed proxy baptisms and other ordinances for any name they could find– which meant that a lot of famous people got baptized. Indeed, it appears that some time in the early 1990’s there was a fad, or at least a hobby, of finding famous people to baptize.
Famous Dead Mormons is both a tribute to the practice and a catalogue of celebrity souls– like Candy’s– saved after the fact.
As we wonder if this amounts to an E Ticket to the Rapture, we might wish a patriotic birthday to George M. Cohan; he was born on this date in 1878. A playwright, songwriter, dancer, actor, theater owner, and producer, Cohan is best remembered as the composer and lyricist of songs including “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag” (which may explain why some sources strain to locate his birthday tomorrow– on July 4). Cohan is not believed to be a baptized Mormon.
source: Library of Congress
That readers are perusing this missive suggests that The Rapture did not in fact happen as advertised. But that humankind (well, the sinners among us anyway) dodged a bullet today doesn’t mean that the threat of Apocalypse isn’t real. Indeed, no less an authority than the CDC has weighed in with a Twitter Alert:
Of course, the Law of Unintended Consequences being what it is, this Tweet seems to have created one kind of disaster even as it attempted to ameliorate another: the response to the message– clicks through to the featured URL– immediately crashed the CDC’s servers.
Some semblance of normalcy has been recovered; readers can once more reach “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse.”
As we reconcile ourselves to the fact that the Zombie craze may well last at least until after the release of Brad Pitt’s upcoming World War Z— and that’s not yet even in production, we might recall that on this date in 1972 Heathen! (an original musical with music and lyrics by Eaton Magoon, and book by Magoon and Sir Robert Helpmann) both opened and closed on Broadway.