Who was the “Bronze Goddess of Fire?”

This actress and comedienne was one of the most beloved characters in television history. Yet, prior to her TV fame, she began her career as a dancer and chorus girl billed as “The Bronze Goddess of Fire.”

She got that name because she would light cigarettes with her fingertips, swallow fire and touch flaming torches to her body–all as a part of her act. Her health and appearance were a top priority for this actress back then. But when she landed her part on one of the most popular TV shows of all time and more roles in Hollywood came knocking, the grueling schedule led to her health decline and she eventually died from diabetes complications at the age of 81 in 2002.

Q: Who was she?

LaWanda Page (1920 – 2002)


LaWanda Page and Redd Foxx were very close friends from the time they were pre-teen age. They attended school and grew up together in St. Louis.

Later on, they both entered the field of comedy separately and performed stage acts. Page later recorded several live comedy albums for the Laff Records label in the late 1960s and early 1970s under the LaWanda stage name. One release, a gold-selling album called Watch It, Sucker!, was titled after one of her Aunt Esther character’s catchphrases to capitalize on her newfound TV fame. During her tenure as a stand-up comic, which lasted all the way to the 1990s, she was often called The Queen of Comedy, or in some mainstream circles, The Black Queen of Comedy. [source]

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