Coby Yee – A Celebration of Life

Coby is cheered by audience members in 2015 at a screening of “Forbidden City, USA” in San Francisco’s Great Star Theatre.  Photo by DeepFocus Productions.

The Bay Area Chinese Genealogy Group is saddened to advise that Coby Yee, a featured panelist in our East meets West: Chinatown Nightclubs, died peacefully August 14, 2020, at the age of 93.

If you wish to see Coby full of life, love and laughter, just weeks ago view BACGG had the great honor and privilege of working with Coby in this interview. Even when we had dress rehearsals, with only three of us present,  Coby was always dolled up in full costume and makeup, ready to put on a show.  It is this zeal of life, I will always remember. She told me about the  gown she made with a 15 foot train (she is only 4’11”!) to make a grand entrance for her acceptance as 2020’s Living Legend from the Las Vegas Burlesque Hall of Fame… never failing to be larger-than-life. Coby never said goodbye… she always ended with, bye for now. So bye for now, Coby, as when I look into the heavens, I will always see your bright star.

Ron Chan, Executive Director, Bay Area Chinese Genealogy Group

Photos provided by Cynthia Yee, webinar panelist, and fellow entertainers to celebrate Coby’s life. view

Coby Yee, 2020 Legend of Burlesque / Last Dance Video by Frankie Fictitious and Joyce Tang (4 min 22 sec) view Special thanks to the Burlesque Hall of Fame site , a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to preserving and celebrating burlesque.

We were unable to have the panelist answer the questions posed by the webinar attendees contemporaneously. BACGG (Ron, Gail, and Jeannie) spent several hours with the panelists going over the submitted questions, and then collating the answers. Please see their output: Questions Answered click

Here is a wonderful tribute to Coby in the New Yorker, posted on Valentines Day

Please feel free to leave a story, a memory, or say, goodbye for now, to Coby.

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