SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Legendary San Francisco burlesque performer Carol Doda has died. She was 78.
Doda died Monday afternoon at St. Luke’s Hospital in San Francisco after a long stay.
Doda was born in Sonoma County and grew up in San Francisco. She got her start performing topless at the Condor Club in North Beach in the 60s. Her enhanced, voluptuous 44″ bustline was iconic and sometimes referred to as the ‘Twin Peaks of San Francisco.’
Her legendary act was go-go dancing on a grand piano as it descended from the ceiling using hydraulic motors. Within a decade, she eschewed her topless bikini altogether and performed nude.
Doda would later work as a local Bay Area television host, and owned a lingerie boutique in San Francisco.
A billboard bearing her larger-than-life image still looms above the Condor Club on Broadway.
Friend and fellow musician Dick Winn remembers the actress, dancer, musician and entrepreneur well.
“Not only the entertaining part: singer, dancer, comedian …just the way she cared about people. She was just very kind. I don’t know anybody who would say a bad thing about her,” he told KPIX 5’s Joe Vasquez.
Winn said Doda’s kidneys were in bad shape.
“She went to sleep in the afternoon Monday and never woke up,” Winn said. “I hated to see her go.”
Friends of Doda are planning a memorial for her at Tupelo on Grant Avenue, on November 22.
CBSSF.com writer, producer Jan Mabry is also executive producer and host of The Bronze Report. She lives in Northern California. Follow her on Twitter @janmabr.