Tura Satana was born in Japan in 1938, shortly after the end of World War II her family migrated to America and settled in Chicago. She developed large breasts quite early and was harassed about this throughout her schooling.
Satana moved to LA at the age of 13 with a fake ID hoping to work as a singer. Through the various characters she met, she began dancing at Club Rendevouz in Illinois as “Galatea” – the statue that came to life. She incorporated acrobatics, humour, beauty and sensuality to her dancing and was soon offered a raise to become a stripper. At 19 she became pregnant with her first daughter, Kalani.
Despite being one of the first prominent Asian strippers of her time, Satana’s most notable role was as ‘Varla’ in the movie Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! The film was created by Russ Meyer and was an ode to female violence. In an interview Meyer complimented Satana on her visual style, energy and use of martial arts into creating the great character of Varla.
Satana passed away in February 2011 from heart failure, but her burly legend lives on through tributes and homages performed in her honour all over the world.