Lily Ayers was really Icel Condon. What kind of name is Icel? Who cares. She was also the famous Lorali, as shown here, and The Princess of Peel. Nice!
More? Just plain Rochelle in piece of crap film called "Everybody's Girl" and just plain Lily in "B-Girl Rhapsody" which no one really lined up for either. So much for Hollywood. By the way, in both films, Icel plays….wait for it..a stripper!
Lorali was one of Lillian's girls. You can read more about Lillian Hunt, AKA Mrs. Devoe HERE on True Burlesque.
Was Icel pretty. HELL yes. Talented? Eye of the burlesque beholder. In 1955 the New York Times called her a "curvy blonde stripper" and if she was good enough for the paper of record, she was good enough for me. Why would the esteemed paper review a stripper?
Additionally, Harper's magazine, in a profile of poet and artist Weldon Kees in 2004 called Lily "the most famous stripper in Oakland" and I think she was.
Who was Weldon Kees? Influential critics have been asking that far longer than I have been wondering who is Icel Condon. Wendell created a burlesque review in 1955 which featured a stripper reading poetry…ICEL! Cool! Unfortunately Weldon died (by suicide) shortly before he could become a really cool beatnik, but he sure could paint. I mean GREAT paintings. I mean, let me look up the prices and suffer for one great.
Author James Reidel has written a book about Mr. Kees, and he is also fortunate to own the astoundingly beautiful painting above. I cribbed it from Wiki
As Icel is the unknown stripper, Wendel is the unknown painter…and poet…and filmmaker…and jazz musician…and MORE. I am seriously humbled. This guy was REALLY the king of all media.
Plus, he picked the hottest stripper on the PLANET (ok…in the Bay area) to perform for him.
BROWSE BOOKS AND AFFORDABLE EBOOKS by JIM LINDERMAN HERE at Blurb.
Top photograph taken by Keith Bernard and manipulated by Hollywood Confidential 1955 (quite possibly without the photographer's permission) Collection Jim Linderman
Painting by Weldon Kees property of James Reidel, from Wikipedia.