In the January 1999 issue of Playboy, the magazine released their list of the one hundred beautiful women “who made this century sizzle.” Lili St. Cyr ranked number sixty-nine, ahead of Gypsy Rose Lee at seventy-eight. Not surprisingly, Marilyn Monroe scored the top spot. At the end of that month, on January 29, 1999 at the age of 81, Lili St. Cyr died of heart failure.
Newspapers like The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Independent in London, Time magazine, and Variety included obituaries which recounted her routines, run-ins with the law, and mentioned her connection to Marilyn Monroe. (As an aside, most got her birth date wrong. She was born in 1917, not 1918.)
In one memorial, a reporter for The Guardian wrote, "They don’t make entertainers like Lili St. Cyr . . . any more. The sincerity of Miss St. Cyr (say the name quickly) was what people came to see. Or at least, that was what her fans liked to believe. She was an artiste, a delightful character who practiced her art, well, sincerely; a charming lady who did everything in the very best taste."