Popular culture has a history of fascination with strippers, from tell-all books to R&B songs. Actresses have been portraying strippers on screen since the black and white films of the 1960s, and the roles have only gotten sexier — remember Jennifer Aniston's sexy striptease in We're the Millers? Olivia Wilde plays a sharp-tongued stripper who tries her hand at butter carving in the film Butter, Vanessa Hudgens slips into lucite heels for her role as a stripper who escapes a serial killer in the thriller The Frozen Ground, and Salma Hayek plays an exotic dancer for the third time in the 2011 French film Americano. There are so many that come to mind, so let's take a look back at some of the most notable stripper moments in pop culture!
The film Gypsy stars Natalie Wood as a timid young woman who blossoms into a successful burlesque performer. It's based on the 1957 book Gypsy: A Memoir by real-life striptease performer Gypsy Rose Lee.
The instrumental song "The Stripper" was composed by David Rose (pictured here in a suit and tie) in 1958 and released in 1962. The jazz piece was inspired by the songs used during striptease performances. It's been used in films like The Full Monty.
Jennifer Beals is well known for her role in Flashdance as an 18-year-old welder and aspiring dancer, Alexandra "Alex" Owens, who works as an exotic dancer on the side.
In the buddy cop film Tango & Cash, narcotics detectives Ray Tango and Gabriel Cash are framed for murder but get some help along the way from Ray's stripper sister Katherine "Kiki" Tango, played by Teri Hatcher.
Elizabeth Berkley — aka Jessie Spano — stars in the racy dramatic film Showgirls as Vegas stripper Nomi Malone aka Polly Ann Costello, a former prostitute with a dark past. Despite its poor initial response from critics and audiences, the film went on to have a cult following and is the highest-grossing NC-17 production.
The twisted romantic drama film Closer follows the interactions and relationships between four people played by Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman, Jude Law, and Clive Owen. Natalie plays stripper Alice Ayres/Jane Jones, who has a very dirty scene in a strip club with Clive's character Larry (albeit without any sex).
In her memoir Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper, Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody tells the story of her past as a stripper and gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the industry.
In 2006, R&B artist T-Pain came out with his hit song "I'm 'n Luv (Wit a Stripper)." The controversial song is about a man who meets a girl performing at a strip club and wants to take her home. The censored version is called "I'm 'n Luv (Wit a Dancer)."
In the double feature action-horror film Grindhouse, Rose McGowan plays a go-go dancer named Cherry Darling whose leg is torn off by zombie-like "sickos" then replaced with a prosthetic machine-gun leg.
Britney Spears channeled a stripper for the 2007 music video for her song "Gimme More." She then used the striptease theme for her lingerie-clad performance of the song at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. The highly anticipated performance was set to be Britney's big comeback moment after her publicized meltdown, but it ended up being a shocking letdown for many fans.
In the black comedy Choke, Gillian Jacobs plays stripper Cherry Daiquiri (real name, Beth), who falls for a reformed sex addict.
In the sports drama film The Wrestler, Mickey Rourke stars as an aging professional wrestler who begins a relationship with an aging stripper, played by Marisa Tomei. Marisa earned an Academy Award nomination for the powerful performance.
Halle Berry took on another stripper role as Frankie in the dramatic film Frankie & Alice, which is based on a true story about a stripper in the '70s who suffered from dissociative identity disorder (commonly known as multiple personality disorder). Frankie has two alters: Genius, a 7-year-old kid, and Alice, a Southern white racist woman.
French drama Americano follows a Parisian real estate agent as he goes to Mexico to trace his roots following the death of his mother. Salma Hayek's Lola is a Tijuana stripper and prostitute who was friends with his late mom.
The thriller The Frozen Ground is based on the real-life story of a serial killer in the 1980s who stalked and murdered young women by hunting them in the Alaskan wilderness. Vanessa Hudgens stars in the movie as a stripper named Cindy Paulson who manages to escape the killer.
In the 2013 comedy We're the Millers, Jennifer Aniston plays a middle-aged stripper who's part of the fake family David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) creates to get out of a dilemma. Even if you haven't seen the movie, you're undoubtedly familiar with the scene in which Jen goes nearly naked in a sexy striptease.