Burlesque star Dixie Evans has died at the age of 86.

The veteran performer, who was known as the 'Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque', passed away at an assisted care facility in Las Vegas on Saturday (03Aug13), just months after she suffered a stroke.

Evans shot to fame in the 1950s and became known for using her act as a tribute to Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe, mimicking the star's iconic look and even recreating scenes from her movies on stage.

However, the show infuriated Monroe who threatened Evans with a lawsuit in a bid to force her to change her act.

Evans' famous fans reportedly included Frank Sinatra, while longstanding rumours suggest Monroe's ex-husband Joe DiMaggio went to see her show in the aftermath of the couple's divorce.

Evans' career entered a downward spiral in 1962 after Monroe's death and she later became an avid collector of burlesque memorabilia, launched a pageant and founded the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Sin City.

She also inspired the career of current burlesque sensation Dita Von Teese, who paid tribute to her idol in a post on Twitter.com, writing, "Sweet & wonderful lady of burlesque, us neo-burlesque dancers owe a lot to you. Rest in peace."