Meet Phyllis Dixey (1944)
L/Ss and M/Ss of the wartime star Phyllis Dixey running through her picturesque garden with a towel wrapped around her. She fills bucket of water from pump. Phyllis drops her towel and proceeds to wash herself with water from bucket. Several shots of Phyllis performing ballet dancing exercises in garden. M/S of Phyllis patting her dog in front doorway of her home. She closes door and walks down front path toward gate. She walks across road. C/U of sign which reads ‘STAGE DOOR’. Pan down to people queuing outside the White Hall Theatre.
Phyllis Dixey at the height of her fame
Phyllis Dixey (10 February 1914 — 2 June 1964) was a British singer, dancer and impresario. Her earlier career was as a singer in variety shows in Britain. During World War II, she joined ENSA and entertained the British forces. She sang, recited and posed in naked tableaux for them, which were very popular.
Early Life and Career
Phyllis Selina Dixey was born in Merton, Surrey. In 1938 she married Jack Tracey. In 1942 she formed her own company of girls and rented the Whitehall Theatre in London to put on a review called The Whitehall Follies. This was the first striptease show put on in the West End of London, but not the first show to have nude studies as the Windmill reviews were already in existence. She stayed at the Whitehall for the next five years producing the Peek-a-boo reviews. Her performance was at the time considered artistic and she thought that it was an art form. She was known as the “Queen of Striptease.”
She appeared in two films Love up the Pole (1936) and Dual Alibi (1946).
Poster advertising Dixey’s act- the Hippodrome at Aldershot (1955)
By 1947 the tastes of the London audience had changed, and Phyllis Dixey was forced to return to the provinces. She was not able to adapt to the direction that the public required. leaving the stage, in the late 1950s, bankrupt. She died of cancer in 1964, aged 50, in Epsom, Surrey, and was buried in Epsom Cemetery.
Her life was portrayed in the British television film The One and Only Phyllis Dixey (1978), in which she was played by Lesley-Anne Down. It was written by Philip Purser.
In 2011, English Heritage made plans to erect a blue plaque at Dixey’s former home at Wentworth Court in Surbiton; however, the installation of the plaque was turned down by the current residents of the building due to the proposed title ‘Striptease Artiste’ being used on the plaque. Negotiations between English Heritage and the residents’ association remain ongoing regarding its text and installation.
Filmography: Love Up the Pole (1936) and Dual Alibi (1947)