Tura Satana in “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!”
“She was a powerful force of nature, a post-feminist freedom fighter long before academics made up post-feminism. She was an an early inspiration to loads of us: Self-possessed, Sexy, and Strong, on burlesque stages and in film. The very moment I met her at Exotic World, she hoisted me up in a bear hug/wrestling hold, crushed me into her bosom, and threatened to carry me up to her hotel room. She was a wise teacher, and she loved to laugh. She is utterly irreplaceable. We’ll always miss her.” ~Tigger!
A film icon for grindhouse lovers, a queen in the burlesque scene, and the 13 year old leader of a girl gang, Tura Satana passed away last week at age 72. Born in Japan and of Japanese, Fillipino, Cheyenne and Scots-Irish, Tura developed her signature curvy figure early and was teased for both her heritage and large chest. She retaliated by mastering karate and aikido. Tura later turned to exotic dancing and acting, voted as one of 10 Best Undressed Burlesque Dancers of the 20th Century by Bill Hanna (of Hanna-Barbera) according to Wikipedia (I very much want to find this list!). Tura is most famous, though, for her unforgettable title role of Varla, go-go dancer and ass-kicker, in Russ Meyer’s “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!”
I was honored enough to meet her at Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, where I was an absolute wreck and she was an absolute sweetheart.
There are some beautiful memories, tributes, videos and fan art posted on her Facebook Page. Thank you Tura, for kicking ass and teaching us sexy could be powerful way before we knew it. You will be greatly missed.