Robert Gwaltney and Jeffrey Dale Lofton interview Leslie Zemeckis, a best-selling author, actress, and an award-winning documentarian of Behind the Burly Q, which ran on Showtime, Bound by Flesh, debuted No. 5 on Netflix and the multi-award-winning Mabel, Mabel, Tiger Trainer. Next up is her award-winning documentary Grandes Horizontales, about courtesans in Napoleon’s Second Empire. She is the author of three best-sellers: Behind the Burly Q, the definitive oral history of burlesque, and an Amazon top 100 pick, Goddess of Love Incarnate; the Life of Stripteuse Lili St. Cyr, and Feuding Fan Dancers, about Sally Rand, Faith Bacon and the golden age of the showgirl (a SCIBA finalist for biography). She has acted alongside Tom Hanks, Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Mickey Rourke and Richard Lawson. Zemeckis is the founder of “Stories Matter,” female storytellers mentoring future female storytellers in conjunction with SBIFF and ENTITY Magazine. Honored for her work inspiring women, Zemeckis was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2023 in part for “sharing and preserving stories of women who were once marginalized and stigmatized . . .” The Medal is officially recognized by both Houses of Congress and is one of our nation’s most prestigious awards.
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