Candis Cayne

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Candis Cayne
Candis Cayne 2009.jpg
Candis Cayne at the sixth annual Style Awards in Beverly Hills, California (10 October 2009)
Born (1971-08-29) 29 August 1971 (age 44)
Maui, Hawaii, U.S.[1]
Occupation Actor, performance artist
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) Marco McDermott (m. 2002–10)

Candis Cayne;[2] (August 29, 1971) is an American actress and performance artist.

Known in the New York City nightclub scene since the 1990s,[3] Cayne came to national attention in 2007 for portraying transgender mistress Carmelita on ABC's prime time drama Dirty Sexy Money.[4][5][6] The role makes Cayne the first transgender actress to play a recurring transgender character in primetime.[4][5][6][7]

Early life[edit]

Cayne and her fraternal twin, Dylan McDaniel,[2] were born in 1971 on Maui, Hawaii. Their parents taught at a Waldorf school, and the family lived on campus.[8] She graduated from Maui's Baldwin High School in 1989[2] and then spent a year in Los Angeles, where she trained as a dancer.[3]


Cayne then moved to New York in the early 1990s, making a name for herself as a choreographer and drag performer.[3] Unaware of what a transsexual was until she lived in New York, about three years after her arrival Cayne realized that the term described how she felt about herself.[3] Already performing as "Candis Cayne" at New York gay bar Boy Bar and as a featured performer at Tour in New York's Chelsea, the entertainer also participated in Wigstock, the annual drag festival in Manhattan's East Village. In 1995 Cayne appeared in the related documentary film Wigstock: The Movie, the comedy-drama film Stonewall, and the Universal Studios comedy feature film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, for which she also did choreography.

In 1996, she had a supporting role in the comedy-drama film Always Something Better (a.k.a. Never Look Back).[9] In 1997 Cayne co-starred in the music video for RuPaul's "A Little Bit of Love" with female impersonator Jazzmun. Cayne also starred as the title character in the 1998 independent film Mob Queen, and won the 2001 Miss Continental pageant.[10][11] In 2007 Cayne was cast as Annaka Manners in the 2007 RuPaul film Starrbooty.

From 2007 to 2008 Cayne played Carmelita Rainer, a trans woman having an affair with married New York Attorney General Patrick Darling (played by William Baldwin), on the ABC prime time drama Dirty Sexy Money.[4][5][6] She had a recurring role as the transgender character Alexis Stone in season six of Nip/Tuck.[12] Cayne has appeared as a judge and Dean of Dance on RuPaul's Drag U. As a dance teacher, she taught contestants original choreography to "No Scrubs" by TLC and Kelis's song "Milkshake". In 2011, she guest-starred on the TV show Necessary Roughness as Geraldine.

In 2015, Cayne appeared in Caitlyn Jenner's reality show I Am Cait.[13]

Activism and personal life[edit]

Cayne began transitioning circa 1996/97.[2]

Cayne has stated, "I'm not trying to be a spokeswoman for the transgender community; I just want to be looked at as a living, breathing, happy human being."[5] She calls the LGBT community "the last great minority" and supports the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.[5]

In August 2015 Candis Cayne teamed up with the global LGBT social network MOOVZ as the new global creative director.[14]

She was married to DJ Marco McDermott for eight years; the couple divorced in 2010.[15]



Year Title Role Notes
1995 Wigstock: The Movie Herself Credited as Brendan McDaniel
1995 Stonewall Diva
1995 To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar Candis Cayne Credited as Brendan McDaniel
1996 Always Something Better Billee
1998 Mob Queen Glorice Kalsheim
1999 Charlie! Short film
1999 In the Closet
2006 My Heart Belongs to Data Candis Short film
2007 Starrbooty Annaka Manners
2008 Libanesa Loira Libanesa Portuguese language
2011 Making The Boys Herself
2012 Meth Head Pinkie
2012 Groom's Cake Candis Short film
2014 Crazy Bitches Vivianna


Year Title Role Notes
2007 CSI: NY Quentin Conrad Episode "The Lying Game"
2008 Sordid Lives: The Series' Therapist #19 Episode "An Audacious Affair"
2007–2008 Dirty Sexy Money Carmelita Rainer 11 episodes
2009 Nip/Tuck Alexis Stone 2 episodes
2010 Drop Dead Diva Allison Webb Episode "Queen of Mean"
2011 Necessary Roughness Geraldine Episode "Dream On"
2012 She's Living for This Herself Episode "The Candis Cayne Episode"
2013–present Elementary Mrs. Hudson 3 episodes
2015 I Am Cait Herself 7 episodes

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Performer Notes
1997 "A Little Bit of Love" RuPaul Dancer
1999 "No Scrubs" TLC Dance teacher
2003 "Milkshake" Kelis Dance teacher


  1. ^ Wiseman, Eva. Candis Payne: This California girl is the first transsexual to star in a prime-time soap, The Guardian, March 9, 2008. Retrieved February 1, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d "Sultry Blond On ABC Show Is Hawaii Transgender". November 15, 2007. Retrieved January 15, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d Piepenburg, Eric (November 6, 2004). "Keep Your Eye on the Road (If You Can)". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ a b c Brownworth, Victoria A. (October 18, 2007). "October Surprises". Bay Area Reporter. Retrieved October 20, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "I Advocate ...". The Advocate (Issue #1024). March 2009. p. 80. 
  6. ^ a b c "Transsexual beauty makes TV history". March 13, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2009. 
  7. ^ "21 Transgender People Who Influenced American Culture". May 29, 2014. 
  8. ^ Venus, Michael (2002). Michael Venus Profiles: Candis Cayne. YouTube
  9. ^ "Always Something Better (1996)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 17, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Miss Continental 2001". Retrieved February 20, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Miss Continental Pageant Throughout the Years". Retrieved February 20, 2009. 
  12. ^ Nip/Tuck, Season 6
  13. ^ Christie D'Zurilla (August 3, 2015). "'I Am Cait' recap: It's all fun and games until someone calls you oblivious". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-08-03. 
  14. ^ "What Is Caitlyn Jenner's Friend Candis Cayne Working on Next?". Retrieved 2015-08-09. 
  15. ^ "Caitlyn Jenner Rumored To Be Dating Trans Actress Candis Cayne". Retrieved 2015-08-24. 

External links[edit]