Candy Barr

She used to be the center of attention, both scandalized and adoring. Now she just wants to be left alone.

On a sultry July afternoon, she steps into my motel room. “So you’re the one who wants me,” she says in a deep, cigarette-stained voice.

For a moment, I have no idea what to say. She takes a seat by the bed and lights a Virginia Slim. She’s tiny, no more than five feet three inches tall, and she weighs perhaps 110 pounds. She is wearing tan boots, a long denim skirt, a cotton sweater, a colorful Indian-blanket jacket, sunglasses that cover the top half of her face, and a wide-brimmed straw hat. I stare at the woman, thinking, “Is this really her?” The most recent photographs I could find were taken more than 25 years ago, when she was in her early forties. Since then she has been a virtual recluse.

Miss Barr?” I finally stammer.

She pulls off her jacket, removes her hat, and then, after a pause, takes off her sunglasses. And suddenly, there it is: the famous teardrop-shaped face with the glittering, deep-set green eyes. The face that once launched a million male fantasies. The face that could only belong to Candy Barr, the former Dallas stripper whose madcap adventures in the late fifties and early sixties—from her tumultuous love affairs with gangsters to her battles with a self-righteous Dallas police captain to her farcical criminal trial over her alleged possession of marijuana—catapulted her onto the front pages of every newspaper in Texas and turned her into something of a folk hero.

At a time in our social evolution when thousands of surgically enhanced young women seem to believe their

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...