Frank Marino (female impersonator)

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Frank Marino
Frank-marino-star.jpg
Born (1963-11-20) November 20, 1963 (age 55)
ResidenceLas Vegas, Nevada
Other namesMs. Las Vegas
OccupationFemale impersonator
Years active1985-2019

Frank Marino (born November 20, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York) is a female impersonator dubbed "Ms. Las Vegas" for his longtime starring role as Joan Rivers in the Las Vegas drag revue Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas, which played at The Linq (formerly known as Imperial Palace and The Quad) on the Las Vegas Strip until June 2018.[1]

Career[edit]

Famous for his lavish on-stage wardrobe (much of which was designed by Bob Mackie, who has also done fashions for Rivers), Marino has received two Las Vegas Walk of Fame stars[2] and received another star when Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman honored his hard work and commitment to the Las Vegas performance world with "Frank Marino Day" on February 1, 2005.[3]

Marino has been playing Joan Rivers in Las Vegas drag shows since 1985 and, according to his 2005 appearance on the Discovery Health Channel series Plastic Surgery: Before and After, once held the unofficial record for the longest continuous performance run at a single casino in Las Vegas when he played Rivers for more than 20 years at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in the long-running drag show An Evening at La Cage;[3] according to his website, he now holds the record as the longest-active and longest-running headliner on the Strip.[4]

In 2010, Marino moved his show to the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino, and renamed it "Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas". He has appeared both as his Joan Rivers persona and as himself in several movies and TV shows. Once sued by Rivers for $5,000,000 (US) in the 1980s,[5] the pair later reconciled and appeared on TV shows together.[5] Frank Marino is the highest-paid female impersonator in the world bringing in over $2.5 million a year for his show Divas Las Vegas and is worth over $20 million.[6] He also resides in one of the biggest and most expensive homes in Las Vegas.[7] He has earned the title of "Entertainer of the Century" from Las Vegas Today Magazine.[8]

In 2018 he appeared in ITV's Last Laugh in Vegas.

Charity controversy[edit]

At the beginning and end of every Divas Las Vegas show, Marino would sell merchandise with profits going to Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada. In July 2018, it was revealed that donations earmarked for the charity were not handed over to Make-A-Wish in a timely manner. The show, headlined by Marino at The Linq Hotel and Casino, was abruptly shut down by the Caesars Entertainment Corporation after an investigation into the charity non-payment.[9] Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada and Frank Marino and his company, Her-Larious Entertainment, LLC have entered into a mutually agreeable arrangement to resolve the issues surrounding the payments to Make-A-Wish from proceeds derived through the ‘Divas Las Vegas Show’ that ran at The Linq.” A provision of the agreement is the total amount would not be made public, but Marino has said the figure he has offered would exceed what was owed “many times over.” Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada President and Chief Operating Officer Caroline Ciocca: “We’re thankful for the support that we receive from the Las Vegas community including from performers like Mr. Marino. [10]

Personal life[edit]

Marino currently resides in Las Vegas.[11] In late 2004, Marino, his birth mother Mary Mastrangelo, and his then-longtime partner's mother Malka Schechter were filmed for a feature for Plastic Surgery: Before and After, having a family outing at Dr. Goesel Anson's plastic surgery practice; the trio's plastic surgery results were shown for the first time on national TV in May 2005.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas". Retrieved 2010-05-16.
  2. ^ Weatherford, Mike (February 26, 2010). "Interviews: 'Frank Marino: Divas Las Vegas'". LVRJ. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
  3. ^ a b As shown in an episode of Plastic Surgery: Before and After, Discovery Health Channel, first aired May 2005.
  4. ^ "Frank Marino, Superstar Female Impersonator". Retrieved May 16, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Rivers sues imitator". St. Petersburg Evening Independent. August 14, 1986. p. 4-A. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
  6. ^ Millionaire Matchmaker, retrieved April 17, 2017
  7. ^ "Star Homes". Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  8. ^ Best of Las Vegas, retrieved April 17, 2017
  9. ^ "Divas Ended Over Charity Non Payment". July 3, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  10. ^ "'Divas Las Vegas' star, Make-A-Wish settle charity dispute". July 18, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  11. ^ "David Magazine". Archived from the original on 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2011-09-23.p. 52

External links[edit]