Legendary San Francisco burlesque performer, actress and singer Carol Doda has died. She was 78.
Doda became a fixture at the Condor Club in North Beach in the 1960s, according to the Associated Press. Her 44″ bust reportedly became known as the “Twin Peaks of San Francisco.”
Doda’s decision to dance topless at the club in 1964 reportedly revolutionized the entire gentleman’s club industry, particularly in San Francisco. Her signature routine involved go-go dancing atop a grand piano as it descended on a cable from overhead. Patrons soon flocked to the Condor Club to check out “the Girl on the Piano.”
Doda’s friend, Dick Winn, told CBS San Francisco that more than her dancing, he remembers “the way she cared about people.”
“She was just very kind,” Winn told the outlet. “I don’t know anybody who would say a bad thing about her.”
Doda reportedly left the Condor Club in 1985 and later became a television host in the Bay Area. She also opened up a lingerie shop in San Francisco called “Carol Doda’s Champagne and Lace Lingerie Boutique.”
As an actress, Doda appeared in the 1968 movie Head, a film about the Monkees, and had small roles in 1969’s Machine Gun McCain and in the TV series Nash Bridges.
Doda reportedly died of liver and kidney problems. Friends of the late dancer are reportedly planning a memorial for her at Tupelo in San Francisco on November 22.