Modern queen of the burlesque Dita Von Teese was born Heather Renee Sweet in Michigan in 1972. Raised on classic movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood, Von Teese developed a fascination with the old-fashioned style from an early age. After the family moved to California, Von Teese became even more immersed in film culture, and eventually studied costume design in college, preparing for a career in styling period films.
Von Teese began working at a local strip club when she was 18, but was disappointed by the lack of style and creativity shown by most of the dancers. She began developing a modern burlesque show, which would prove to be increasingly popular. By the mid-'90s, Von Teese was a celebrity in her own niche, spearheading a resurgence in burlesque dancing and pin-up style. She became a recognizable media personality, modeling for designers like Vivienne Westwood and Jean-Paul Gaultier, and appearing in a small selection of films, like The Death of Salvador Dali and The Boom Boom Room. In 2005, Von Teese married rocker Marilyn Manson; the two divorced in 2007.