"First Swiss burlesque dancer" dies

Syra Marty, life of the party Archiv Roger Bürgler/Privatbesitz Syra Marty

Syra Marty, a Swiss dancer/actor/stripper who was wooed by Hollywood stars such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, has died in Florida just short of her 90th birthday.

This content was published on February 4, 2011 - 17:51 and agencies

Marty was born Josefina Magdalena Marty in Goldau, canton Schwyz, and moved aged 20 to Zurich where she met her future husband and manager, Billy Frick.

In 1948 Marty and Frick moved to Los Angeles, where she began her career as a burlesque dancer at the Can Can Follies Theater in Hollywood.

In an eventful life, she became an advertising icon, got involved in a cat fight with Marilyn Monroe and danced in Vienna for Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

Many of Hollywood’s stars courted her, including Sinatra, Martin and Gregory Peck, and in 1951 Marty’s pin-up looks resulted in Hollywood’s foreign press electing her the most beautiful actress since Greta Garbo.

After Frick’s death in 1977, Marty retired from public life until a documentary about her, “Syra Marty – Dächli Leni goes to Hollywood”, was released in Switzerland last year.

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