Dita Von Teese

Dita Von Teese

American vedette, burlesque dancer, model, and businesswoman
Dita Von Teese

Dita Von Teese (born Heather Renée Sweet on September 28, 1972) is an American burlesque dancer, model, costume designer, entrepreneur and occasional actress. She is thought to have helped re-popularize burlesque performance and and was once married to Marilyn Manson.

Von Teese was born in Rochester, Michigan, the middle of three daughters in a middle-class family. Her father was a machinist and her mother a manicurist. She is of English, Scottish, Armenian and German heritage. Dita later clarified that one of her grandmothers was half-Armenian and adopted into an Anglo-Saxon American family. Von Teese is known for her fascination with 1940s cinema and classic retro style. This began at a young age and was fostered by her mother, who would buy clothes for her daughter to dress up in. Her mother was a fan of old, Golden age-era Hollywood films, and it was from her that Von Teese developed a fascination with the actresses of that day, especially Betty Grable.

She was classically trained as a ballet dancer from an early age, and danced solo at age thirteen for a local ballet company. Though she originally wanted to be a ballerina, Von Teese states that "by 15, I was as good as I’d ever be." She was later to incorporate this element into her burlesque shows, where she frequently goes en pointe. The family relocated from Michigan to Orange County, California, when her father's job moved. Von Teese attended University High School in Irvine.

As a teenager, Von Teese's mother took her to buy her first bra, made from plain white cotton, and gave her a plastic egg containing a pair of wrinkly, flesh-colored tights. Von Teese says she was disappointed as she had been hoping to receive beautiful lacy garments and stockings, of the type she had glimpsed in her father's Playboy magazines. This fueled her passion for lingerie. She worked in a lingerie store as a salesgirl when she was fifteen, eventually as a buyer. Von Teese has been fond of wearing elaborate lingerie such as corsets and basques with fully fashioned stockings ever since. In college, Von Teese studied historic costuming and aspired to work as a stylist for films. She is a trained costume designer, often designing (and copyrighting) her photo shoots herself.



Von Teese got her stage name by adopting the name Dita as a tribute to silent film actress Dita Parlo. For her breakthrough 2002 Playboy cover, she was required to have a surname, so she chose Von Treese from the phonebook. In the magazine, this was misspelled as Von Teese, which she decided to stick with.

Fetish and glamour modeling

Von Teese achieved some level of recognition in the fetish world as a tightlacer. Through the wearing of a corset for many years, she had reduced her waistline to 22 inches (56 cm), and can be laced down as far as 16.5 inches (42 cm).

Von Teese appeared on a number of fetish magazine covers, including Bizarre and Marquis. It was around this time when she appeared on the cover of Midori's book, The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage. Von Teese was featured in Playboy in 1999, 2001 and 2002, with a cover-featured pictorial in 2002. The German metal band Atrocity chose her as the cover model for their 2008 album, Werk 80 II.



Von Teese is a prominent neo-burlesque performer

Von Teese is best known for her burlesque routines and is frequently dubbed the "Queen of Burlesque" in the press. Von Teese began performing burlesque in 1992, and, as a proponent of New Burlesque, has helped to popularize its revival. In her own words, she "puts the tease back into striptease" with long, elaborate dance shows with props and characters, often inspired by 1930s and 1940s musicals and films. Some of her more famous dances have involved a carousel horse, a giant powder compact, a filigree heart and a clawfoot bathtub with a working shower head. Her signature show features a giant martini glass. Her feather fan dance, inspired by burlesque dancer Sally Rand, featured the world's largest feather fans, now on display in Hollywood's Museum of Sex.

Her burlesque career has included some memorable performances. She once appeared at a benefit for the New York Academy of Art wearing nothing but $5 million worth of diamonds. Additionally, Von Teese became the first guest star at Paris's Crazy Horse cabaret club with her appearance in October 2006. Also in 2006, Von Teese appeared on an episode of America's Next Top Model (cycle 7) doing a workshop to teach the contestants about sexiness by means of burlesque dancing and posing. In 2007 Von Teese performed at the adult entertainment event Erotica 07 in London alongside Italian rock noir band Belladonna.

Von Teese's first book (in collaboration with Bronwyn Garrity), which consisted of her opinions on the history of burlesque and fetish, Burlesque and the


View details Hide details
Dita Von Teese was born on Thursday, 28 September 1972 in West Branch, Michigan, USA. Her full name at birth was Heather Renée Sweet. She is best known as a dancer. Teese's country of citizenship (nationality) is American. Dita attended high school at University High School, Irvine, California. Her religion is listed as Agnostic. She is 5' 4½" (164 cm) tall and weighs 115 lbs (52 kg) with a voluptuous build. She has green eyes and dyed black hair (color). Her net worth is reported to be $8,000,000 US dollars. Dita Von Teese is 51 years old and her zodiac star sign is Libra.

You can find people similar to Dita Von Teese by visiting our lists Fetish models and Actresses of British descent.

Full name at birth
Heather Renée Sweet
Claim to fame
her vintage-inspired outfits, stockings and corsets, piquing the interest of the clientele with her raunchy burlesque performances. She was featured in Playboy in 1999, 2001 and 2002, with a cover-featured pictorial in 2002
Date of birth
28 September 1972
Place of birth
West Branch, Michigan, USA
Dancer, Model, Author, Costume Designer, Entrepreneur, Burlesque Performer
Occupation category


5' 4½" (164 cm)
115 lbs (52 kg)
Hair color
Eye color
Zodiac sign
Distinctive feature
Retro Look
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Dress size
Shoe size
  • Eva (Dog - Daschund)
  • Greta (Dog - Daschund)
  • Lily (Cat - Devonshire Rex)
  • Aleister (Cat - Devonshire Rex)
  • Edgar (Cat - Devonshire Rex)
  • Hermann (Cat - Devonshire Rex)
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Net worth
$8,000,000 USD
High school
  • University High School, Irvine, California
  • University High School in Irvine, California
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University add_black university
Talent agency
  • Dishell Multimedia Group
  • Entertainment Booking Agency
  • Global Talent Booking
  • Spirit International Artists (UK)
  • Jason Weinberg of Untitled
  • Dishell Multimedia Group (LA)
  • United Artists Management Inc (UK)
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Political affiliation add_black political affiliation
Political party add_black political party
Partner: Adam Rajcevich (Dating)
Aug 2014-
Dita Von Teese and Adam Rajcevich
I always get billed as 'Dita, internationally known fetish supermodel I'm really a small town girl from Michigan who has a good laugh that being a fancy-pants stripper got me here! Some people say what I do isn't very liberating. I say it's pretty liberating to get $20,000 for 10 minutes work."
  • Measurements: 32C-21-33 (Source:Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
  • Thanked at the end of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003) because she helped train them for their dance routine.
  • Filed for divorce from Marilyn Manson, citing irreconcilable differences. [December 2006]
  • Often compared to Burlesque artist Gypsy Rose Lee, not only for their work in burlesque, but also for their shared love of haute couture fashions.
  • Ranked #82 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2007 list.

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