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Congratulations to our 2020 Living Legend Award winner, Coby Yee!

Promotional photo showing Coby Yee in a costume now in BHoF’s collection

It is our most sincere pleasure to announce this year’s recipient of the BHoF Living Legend Award is the great Coby Yee! The Living Legend Award recognizes burlesque performers who created distinguished careers for themselves during burlesque’s heyday and continue to distinguish themselves through their involvement in today’s burlesque community, assuring the continued growth of burlesque as an artform. Coby Yee blazed a trail for herself, first as a performer and then as a club owner, and continues today through her generosity towards the new generation of performers.

Known as “China’s Most Daring Dancing Doll”, Coby Yee began dancing in the 1940s and soon became a mainstay in Asian nightclubs, particularly Charlie Low’s Forbidden City in San Francisco. She performed all over the country through the 1950s and ‘60s, eventually buying Forbidden City in 1962 and running it until it closed in 1970. Now 93 years old, Coby has performed several times at the BHoF Weekender, most recently just this year in a duet with dancer Stephen King.

The award will be presented during this year’s Weekender, postponed to August 28-30 due to COVID-19 closures. Congratulations to Coby Yee, our 2020 Living Legend!

Coby Yee performs at the 62nd Annual Titans of Tease Reunion Showcase,  Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender, June 7, 2019 (Photo by Kidd Gloves)
Coby Yee performs at the 62nd Annual Titans of Tease Reunion Showcase, Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender, June 7, 2019 (Photo by Kidd Gloves)

For more information about the Living Legend Award and previous recipients, visit the Living Legend page on our Weekender site.


  1. Reply
    John Wilson says:

    In 1960 I was stationed aboard the USS Hancock an air craft carrier based out of Alameda,Ca. One night myself and two buddies from the ship found Coby and Jimmy’s bar, The Dragon Lady, on Broadway in San Francisco. It was really a great place. It had a piano bar and a small stage where a jazz trio would play. Being photographers, we took some pictures in the bar. When we returned about a month later we gave the pictures to Coby and Jimmy. We were quickly adopted by them and never paid for a drink again. We were always given the best seats available. They knew that we had very little money and took very good care of us. I will always remember the kindness that they gave us, Thank you Coby and Jimmy

  2. Reply
    HOMEiA says:

    Congrat! Coby Yee…!

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