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From Drags to Riches : The Untold Story of Charles Pierce - John Wallraff

From Drags to Riches

The Untold Story of Charles Pierce

Paperback Published: 23rd July 2002
ISBN: 9781560233862
Number Of Pages: 245

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Learn how Charles Pierce achieved stardom and became one of the most famous female impersonators of all time!Charles Pierce (1926--1999) was an internationally known and highly successful female impersonator, known for his vivid portrayals of Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn, and Mae West. This book offers a candid look at a career that spanned over fifty years--from his humble start at the Pasadena Playhouse, to his sold-out shows in San Francisco.From Drags to Riches provides a rich and colorful history of Charles Pierce. In this insightful and moving volume, Pierce's friend John Wallraff offers valuable insights about the little-known man behind the makeup and captures the essence of what drag stardom is really like. This informative, imaginative, and sexually provocative book contains:

  • stories of how famous Hollywood icons shaped Charles Pierce's life and his act
  • Pierce's history, from his humble beginnings at the Pasadena Playhouse to his sold-out shows in San Francisco and beyond
  • a look at Pierce's private life
  • an examination of the price of fame--how successes and failures shape any performerUsing the words of Charles Pierce himself, adding a dash of humor, mixing in fascinating insights, and sprinkling in juicy stories of love, lust, and sex, this book is a melting pot of information about a well-loved but sometimes misunderstood man.

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Prologuep. xv
"A Wonderful Idea"p. 1
A Movie Star on Wheelsp. 7
Pasadena Playhouse--At Last!p. 13
Extracurricular Lessons in Sexp. 19
"Make Me a Star!"p. 25
Stars in My Eyesp. 29
Summer Stock and Shangri-La for Awhilep. 39
The Rent Partyp. 53
Charles Pierce, the Persistent Houseguestp. 61
A Mahvelous Pahtyp. 69
A Naked Moon Dance and the Little Retreat Where Alcoholics Meetp. 75
The Big Break and Sex on the Rocksp. 81
"Everybody Came to the Gilded Cage"p. 91
"Through These Portals ..."p. 97
Rio Dante, the Man Who Would Be Draculap. 105
"The Beverly Hill Nellies" and How They Grewp. 109
In Love with a "Living Doll"p. 115
In Bed with "Bette Davis"p. 121
Chicken-in-the-Nude, Cock Tales, and Other Assorted Orgiesp. 125
Chez Sabu and La Ballet de Marijuanap. 133
"Mother Didn't Tell Me There'd Be Nights Like These!"p. 139
Death in the Dressing Roomp. 145
Gold Street and Touched by an Angel--Of Death!p. 155
"No, I'm Not the Girl in the Fishbowl at Bimbo's"p. 163
The City Cabaret and Disco--The Times They Were A-Changin'p. 171
The Backlot--And the Real Miss Bette Davisp. 175
An Evening at "Dottie's Place"p. 181
Charles Pierce Takes New York--And New York Loves It!p. 185
"The Tush Room at the Hotel Yuck"p. 189
The Venetian Room--"Top o' the World, Ma!"p. 199
Wild at The Ballroom--Farewell to New York Cityp. 205
Is There Life After Drag?p. 211
Charles Pierce: Male Actressp. 221
Letters from the End of the Rainbowp. 225
Farewell, Old Friend: The Last Charles Pierce Showp. 231
Epiloguep. 239
Notesp. 243
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781560233862
ISBN-10: 1560233869
Series: Haworth Gay & Lesbian Studies
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 245
Published: 23rd July 2002
Publisher: HAWORTH PR INC
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.23 x 15.39  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.43
Edition Number: 1