Remembering Majorette JoAn Burdick Gottlieb (1934-2023)

City of Anaheim Announcement

With sadness, but also admiration and joy for an incredible life lived, we join many across Anaheim in remembering JoAn Burdick Gottlieb.

The former baton twirling band majorette, Las Vegas showgirl and Anaheim Fall Festival & Halloween Parade grand marshal passed on Friday.

She was an Anaheim luminary and a big part of our city’s history.

Burdick Gottlieb graduated from Anaheim High School in 1951. She fell in love with baton twirling after seeing the skill and glamour of band majorettes in the 1939 Anaheim Halloween parade.

She went on to live a storied life and career of her era, serving as a can-can dancer at the Ghost Town Calico Saloon at Knott’s Berry Farm, as a Las Vegas showgirl, including alongside Frank Sinatra at the Sands Hotel Copa Room, and later as a dancer at Moulin Rouge in Hollywood.

Along the way, she earned a physical education degree from California State University, Fullerton, and taught yoga, jazz dance and other physical education at Fullerton High School. She also earned a real estate license!

In 1960, Burdick Gottlieb married orchestra leader Bernard Gottlieb, who went by the stage name of Bernie Bernard and led performances at Disneyland in the 1960s and ’70s.

Burdick Gottlieb was a big part of the Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade and lived in Anaheim until her passing. Our city extends our thanks and admiration as well as our condolences. We will miss her.

Burdick Gottlieb penned some memories of marching in a Halloween parade three times in one night. They were shared on the Anaheim Historical Society blog in 2020.

Photo Sources: Orange Juice Blog; Anaheim Historical Society; Anaheim High School Alumni Association

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