Bacon Left Through the Window

Faith Bacon by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Faith Bacon by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Self-proclaimed inventor of the “Fan Dance” Faith Bacon was born in 1909. Her dancing career began with no training on whim in Paris in the 1920’s. Flowers, bubbles, and fans were used in her all nude revue shows.
Bacon returned to the Unites States and appeared on Broadway in 1928-1929. To sidestep the indecent exposure laws that prohibited dancers from moving while nude on stage, she stood still while lights played over her naked body. While clever and a lovely image it did not stop her from being arrested in 1930 for breaking the exposure law in 1930, the case was eventually thrown out.
Later, in the early 30’s Faith performed in Ziegfeld Follies. Glamming it up for three years with one of the most illustrious revue’s there was during this time. She was voted “The Most Beautiful Showgirl on Broadway”. Her new title allowed Faith to ride on the waves it created for a few years.
In 1933 upon hearing that her rival, Sally Rand, would be performing at the Worlds Fair, she created a show called “The Original Fan Dancer” to rub in it Sally’s face and make it clear to Rand that she felt that she had ripped off her act. Sally seemed to dismiss Bacon’s jibes as petty.

Faith Bacon and her 'Fan Dance'

Faith Bacon and her ‘Fan Dance’

Due to her reputation for being difficult and a bit of a diva, Faith Bacons career began to decline after her World Fair performance. She spent the next several years filing lawsuits, the biggest one against Rand for stealing her “Fan Dance”, but there were several others against various people that she worked for. Until eventually, she could not get a job.
In 1950, she was recognized by a former fellow dancer in an alley way behind a theater in Seattle, Washington, the woman thought she was homeless until she realized who it was.
On September 16th, 1956 a woman leapt from her second story apartment in Chicago. Her roommate had tried to grab her skirt to hold her back, but all she was left with was torn piece of cloth. Faith Bacon, the once beautiful and imaginative dancer, killed herself, pining for the spotlight that eluded her in the end. With on one to claim her body the American Guild of Variety Artists stepped up and arranged for her burial. She was only 46 years old.

Faith Bacon 1930's

Faith Bacon 1930’s


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