the Citizen Kane of stag movies

Burlesque dancer Candy Barr was born Juanita Dale Slusher on July 6, 1935, in Edna, Texas.

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“At age 16, though she appeared much older, she appeared in the most famous and widely circulated of the early underground pornographic movies, Smart Alec. It was the Deep Throat of its day. Film critic, Phil Hall, calls it the Citizen Kane of stag films.

For her signature striptease, she would walk on stage wearing a full Annie Oakley buckskin get-up. By the time her five-minute routine was up, she would have stripped off everything but her panties, pasties, cowboy boots, white cowboy hat and the twin holsters slung low across her hips.

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Offstage, Candy enjoyed hanging out at the Carousel after hours, where owner Jack Ruby became a close friend and father figure. In 1953 she hooked up with Troy Phillips, a nightclub denizen who became her husband and manager. The marriage had fallen apart by the holiday season in 1955, but Phillips was not the sort to walk away without one last dustup.

Jack Ruby and friends

When he showed up at her door Candy refused to answer so he kicked it in and stumbled drunkenly around her apartment. When he got 6 feet away, she leveled the rifle barrel on her husband and pulled the trigger. She hit him in the lower belly near the groin, later claiming her aim was off. The charges were dropped two weeks later, when Phillips acknowledged that he’d been very drunk and ornery.

Candy briefly became the squeeze of Mickey Cohen, the L.A. mob kingpin, whom she met while headlining on Sunset Boulevard. (He was a sucker for strippers; Tempest Storm and Beverly Hills had been in his bed too). Following their breakup she married Hollywood hairdresser Jack Sahakian, the Vidal Sassoon of his day, in Las Vegas in 1959.

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In October 1957, Dallas police detectives knocked at Candy’s apartment door. They told her an informant had tipped them off that she had marijuana.

After a brief give-and-take with the cops, Candy dug down into her bosom and pulled out a pill bottle that contained less than an ounce of pot, the equivalent of the tobacco in 25 cigarettes. Her trial was a spectacle, with men elbowing their way into the courtroom to ogle the stripper and the jury sending her away for 15 years. Some time later, a Dallas police official stated that Candy had been convicted because of her occupation. He said the 11 men on the jury would have been mortified to go home to face their wives after acquitting her.

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On April 2, 1963 — after three years and three months — she walked out of prison carrying a Bible and holding a $5.70 one-way bus ticket back home to Edna. As a condition of her parole, she was barred from working as an exotic dancer.

Jack Ruby, her old nightclub pal, visited Candy after her release and gave her a getting-out gift of two dachshund puppies. The dogs were about six months old when Ruby’s name popped up on every newspaper front page in America. She said she knew nothing, but to this day some view Candy as a cog in the arcane machinery of the Kennedy conspiracy.

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In 1972, she published a slim volume of poetry, “A Gentle Mind…Confused,” some of which she had written in prison. She was lured out of retirement by a $5,000 payday when she posed nude for Oui magazine in 1976, at age 41.

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In 1999, she was named on Playboy’s “Most Desirable” list, and she made Texas Monthly’s list of “perfect Texans.” “Of all the small-town bad girls,” the magazine said, Candy Barr “was the baddest.” Copies of her book of poetry now sell for as much as $3,000.

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Published in: on October 20, 2010 at 8:11 am  Comments (45)  
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45 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It’s nice to see a stripper succeed in another career and prove she wasn’t just a pair of tits.

    • Gangster’s girl, husband shooter, puppy-raiser and poet. She had quite a resume.

  2. sad tale. except for that bit with the shotgun…

    • Don’t you go getting any ideas daisyfae

  3. Wow! What a dish! A woman like that would rip me limb from limb and leave me to be pecked at by vultures afterwards. But that’s preferable to a long-term illness, I suppose.

    And who was that tough son of a bitch who survived a rifle blast to the gut? They make ‘em tough in Texas, don’t they?

    • She’s a stunner isn’t she?

  4. I would think Juanita Slusher would be a great porn name.

    • I heard another good one the other day – Kaye Wye

      • Kaye Wye…hahaha!

  5. A mighty fine post there NM.

    Keep ‘em coming.

    The King

    • I have another stripper coming up just for you…. the story’s not so interesting but she has a superb bottom

  6. An interesting bit of history. Jack Ruby has always been a bit of an enigma to me. And women are all riddles.
    So good ol’ Jack at times was probably that old cliche – an enigma wrapped in a riddle – – -

    • Are you quoting Winnie C?

  7. There’s something about big tits and pasties that seems so . . . American.

  8. The American way… even when naked, keep your guns and your boots on.

    • Over here it’s just the boots and stockings

  9. Ah, I haven’t heard the term “stag film” since I was a kid. How the hell did people get their porn before teh internetz?

  10. “He was a sucker for strippers..”

    That sound like a mighty fine job……

  11. Nice tattas

    • Amie where’s your blog link?

  12. How silly. Such a small amount of pot and she gets 15 years and is barred from performing? Seems the punishment was for more than just the crime for which she was arrested.

    She was gorgeous.

  13. Who ever said a stripper could only do one thing? Candy was a Renaissance woman!

  14. She killed JFK too I’m telling you, killed him with cleavage!

  15. Is it just me, or is there a curve in the hips and a sweep of the breasts in old school pinup types that you just don’t find anymore…Catch a historian of medicine engaging in anatomical nostalgia.

  16. Candy is bad ass. I’d like her action figure or bobble head.

    • I’m sure there’s a market…..

  17. That is one long and winding road to being a perfect Texan.

    • You need long and winding legs too don’t you? Like Jerry Hall’s.

  18. I can see the resemblance between Candy (born Juanita Dale Slusher) and Orson.

    Edna is in East Texas, south of Houston along the Gulf Coast. (Texans have to know where every podunk town in the state is.)

  19. If I got shot every time I was drunk and ornery I wouldn’t have any flesh left on my body. Or be alive.

    Those are some amazing breasts!

  20. That is one beautiful woman in all ways. . .

    I just don’t understand what possession of less than an ounce of marijuana has to do with being an erotic dancer.

  21. Lovely boobies and a great story – again xxx

  22. She makes me proud to be a Texan.

  23. My bosom is so useless. It can barely carry its own weight, let alone my narcotics.

  24. Love those perky girls she has! I am sooooooooooojealous! Mine were like that many, many, years ago! :(

    • Well, I wish I’d known you then! And I’m certain that you (and they) are lovely now.

  25. I wish!

  26. I love this post. She was gorgeous. As are you.
    Rebecca


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