Dita von Teese - Biography & Career
Born Heather Sweet on September 28th, 1972 in Rochester, Michigan, Von Teese was a performer right from the start. She loved the old MGM Technicolor musicals and would emulate the stars of Hollywood's Golden Age as a child. It didn't take much prodding from her parents to take part in dancing lessons and other forms of performance art.
As early as 16 years old, Von Teese was obsessed with fashion. While working at a lingerie store, she fell in love with all the fancy accoutrements a woman could wear. Then and there, an erotic entertainer was born. She knew right away that if fate would allow her to flourish as a model, she would do things her own way. This maxim has remained with her until the present day and still holds true.
After doing some modeling, over-the-top erotic shows and even a few movies that are probably not available at your local Blockbuster, Dita Von Teese -- as she was now officially known -- was ready to emerge. After audience members at certain shows noticed her unique taste and abilities, questions arose about her availability to do functions on her own. As a result, Von Teese's opportunity to make a name for herself finally arrived.
She became a party entertainer by the time she was in her early 20s, and she was so good at it that Play..boy took notice of her talent. As early as 1997, the magazine began to publish Von Teese's photos, which, naturally, only increased the male public's desire for her. She became known as a burlesque and fetish queen -- a veritable pinup model. This allure filled a niche and helped spurn some 30 more Play..boy appearances, including her first cover in December 2002.
Von Teese was featured prominently in videos that were released under Hugh Hefner's bunny rabbit logo, including Wet & Wild Live and Girlfriends 2. Her popularity spread to international fetish publications such as Marquis and Bizarre.
Still, it was her live shows that captured the most attention, with their extravagant sets, sexy music and beautifully raunchy costumes. Von Teese's gigs began to receive much more attention, especially after her performances with the famous Pussycat Dolls Live at The Roxy (along with performers like Charlize Theron, Christina Aguilera and Christina Applegate), as well as at a Louis Vuitton event at the Bellagio in Las Vegas and for the Osbournes (Ozzy included), at their 2002 New Year's Eve Gala, which was broadcast on MTV. She was also the center of more risque erotic balls, dating back as early as 1999.
Her romantic relationship with highly controversial and oft-vilified rocker Marilyn Manson increased her time in the spotlight. They could be seen going to movie premieres together, which never hurt Von Teese's exposure. In fact, this throwback burlesque beauty continues to ride the wave of her whirlwind fame. She is constantly working on different productions, photo shoots and other projects and, if she sticks to the same formula, Von Teese is sure to be busy for quite some time.