The dancer, best known for inspiring Paul Newman's 1989 film Blaze, passed away on Monday (15Jun15) at her home in Wilsondale, West Virginia after suffering heart problems.

She was born Fannie Belle Fleming, but began using the name Blaze Starr after launching herself as a burlesque dancer in Baltimore, Maryland, where she eventually ran her own club.

Starr became notorious in the 1950s after striking up an affair with married Louisiana Governor Earl Long, and this relationship served as the inspiration behind the film Blaze, which starred Newman as the politician and featured the real Starr in a cameo role.

The film was based on her 1974 memoir Blaze Starr: My Life as Told to Huey Perry.

Filmmaker John Waters also cited Starr as a major inspiration and credited her with influencing the drag queen persona of his regular collaborator, Hairspray star Divine.