John Waters’s Favorite Stripper: Lady Zorro

The Butch Local Girl Who Looked Like Victor Mature


By Burlesque Babes (, 2/26/2015)

Her real name was Sheila Alberta Bowater.

Get by with a little help from my friends…
A reader kindly posted a helpful comment to my original bio-less Lady Zorro post.

Here’s the comment that led me to find out a little about Lady Zorro’s hard life. On October 11, 2009, Alex wrote:

“… John Waters mentions a dancer named Zorro on page 75 of his book, Crackpot. He writes,”She’d stomp around the stage naked after removing her cape and mast, sneer at the audience with pure contempt, and snarl, ‘What are you lookin’ at?’ — Could it be the same lady? …”

John Waters goes on to compare Lady Zorro’s looks to ruggedly-handsome actor Victor Mature. After seeing their photos side-by-side, I’d have to say he’s right — and that there must have been only one Lady Zorro!

Here are some quotes from John Water’s book, CRACKPOT, which was reissued in 2003 with updates from the author. Sadly, he informs us that Lady Zorro is no longer with us. I hope her daughter does write the book that John encouraged her to write.

You can read some pages of CRACKPOT on google-books here.

Crack that whip! Lady Zorro.

Above, left, "Lady Zorro" during her Baltimore stripping days in the 1960s; right, Zorro, smoking from an aluminum can, later in life. (from ROLE MODELS by John Waters)

Above, left, “Lady Zorro” during her Baltimore stripping days in the 1960s; right, Zorro, smoking from an aluminum can, later in life. (from ROLE MODELS by John Waters)

Lady Zorro, on a pedestal.

Lady Zorro, on a pedestal.

Continue reading “Lady Zorro Sexy Burlesque Stripper” at

Related Links:

Lady Zorro’s obituary (Baltimore Sun, February 8, 2001)

This entry was posted in "The Block", Baltimore Babylon, Baltimorons, Burlesque, Dreamlanders, John Waters, Nightlife, Roadside Attractions, Sex and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to John Waters’s Favorite Stripper: Lady Zorro

  1. Crackpot is the best book! I never saw that “later in life” photo of “Lady” Zorro. Wowsie!

  2. The post is really awesome and pictures are really sexy.

  3. Daaarrrrlin! (Said like Sheila herself would say.) Iam Sooooooooo HAPPY to have found and gotton to see MY & MANY MANY MANY Peoples Dear Dear Dear FRIEND’s pic'(s)! GOD How I MISS her Soooooo! I did not get to see her again after I moved from Baltimore & She moved to Tagar Oregon. But we briefly get in touch. Last I saw her she visited me in Rehoboth DE with her Daughter & Son In Law. I was DEVASTATED when I heard she passed. However odd as it sounds…she did visit me in my dreams & said goodbye abit after she crossed over. The easiest way to describe knowing Shelia would be ~ You NEVER EVER EVER had a dull or boring time hanging with her. You NEVER knew who you would meet hanging at her 28th street house. From Senators relative,to actors,to local business owners to local cons & players to local loved indegants (sp). She opened her home to EVERYONE. A memory I hold dear was a Thanksgiving where she her friend Connie (Constance Fisher) myself & a few others fed the WHOLE neighborhoods kids. Most EVERYONE I hung out with at her house including her have ALL passed on now. But I will NEVER EVER EVER Forget ALL the Good Times & WILD Parties I had with her. I look back at those times and days as the FUNNEST Times I believe I ever had in my life. Shelia tho quite a Wild Character was a very Loving Friend who also Loved Nature,The Ocean(s) & Animals ie:her cat Allah & doggie (as she called her) Delilah. God! Daaarrrrlin…HOW I MISS YOU~!~ Wherever her Soul be Roaming now…I KNOW Everyone around & with her is having a GOOOOOOOD Time~!~ Like she told me in my dream…”Darlin,it’s Beauuutiful…the Trees…Hillsides…but the flooooowers their EVERYWHERE!” Thankyou sooo much for this site and pics of a Dear Dear Dear loooong LOST FRIEND! One of her many many many friends “her Daaavid”…lol…God I miss that Voice So!

  4. Cynthia Johnson "Kay Winters" says:

    Zorro and her wife, Eileen, were very good friends of mine….I have been trying to find them for years….I danced at the Gayety Club where they worked……this was in the late 70’s …will leave my contact info….would love to know where their daughters are and how they are doing

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