Pierce, Charles

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Pierce, Charles Gender: M
Charles E. Pierce
born on 14 July 1926 at 21:15 (= 9:15 PM )
Place Watertown, New York, 43n58, 75w55
Timezone EST h5w (is standard time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Clifford
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 21°51' s_mo.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 18°18 Asc.s_aqucol.18.gif 24°27'

Portrait of Charles Pierce 
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Charles Pierce
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American actor and drag queen noted as one of the 20th century's foremost female impersonators, he was particularly noted for his impersonation of Bette Davis.

He began his show business career playing the organ and acting in radio dramas at station WWNY. He branched out into a comedy routine, attired in tuxedo, yet managing to evoke eerily convincing imitations of popular movie actresses. Eschewing the term drag queen, which he hated, he billed himself as a male actress.

Initially playing in small gay clubs, his fame spread. He took up residence in San Francisco, where his act became well known to Hollywood stars. As he toured, his costuming became more elaborate, initially adding small props, later full costume and makeup changes. His imitations were imitated by other female impersonators, and his roles included Bette Davis, Mae West, Tallulah Bankhead, Gloria Swanson, Carol Channing, Katharine Hepburn, and Joan Crawford, and these roles became the drag queen canon. His act was centered on wit rather than mimicry; however, it often was said that he looked more like Joan Collins than Joan Collins herself.

He was a guest actor on an episode of TV's Wonder Woman and played a cross-dressing villain in an episode of Laverne & Shirley ("Murder on the Moose Jaw Express"). Thanks in part to his good friend actress Dixie Carter, Pierce also appeared on an early episode of the sitcom Designing Women as a steward on a cruise ship. During the episode, he imitates Joan Collins (as the ship's waitress) and Bette Davis (as the ship's lounge entertainment). As Davis, he quips: "Was that Joan Collins hustling the tables? One bitch on this boat is enough!"

He died on 31 May 1999 in North Hollywood, California, aged 72, and was cremated.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • friend relationship with Arthur, Bea (born 13 May 1922)
  • role played of/by West, Mae (born 17 August 1892)


Source Notes

From "Data News" (July-August 2020) by Frank C. Clifford: "From his unpublished memoirs, as quoted in Kirk Frederick’s Write That Down! The Comedy of Male Actress Charles Pierce (Havenhurst Books, 2016), p. 12."


  • Passions : Sexuality : Gay
  • Passions : Sexuality : Transvestite (Drag qoeen, "male actress")
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Comedy
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Live Stage
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Night Club/ Vaudeville