Vicki Marlane

Vicki Marlane pic

September 5, 1934 – July 3, 2011

Minnesota native Vicki Marlane was among a troupe of female impersonators who performed at the Diplomat Lounge in Detroit in the early 1960s.  Born Donald Sterger, Marlane underwent gender affirmation surgery in San Francisco, where she continued to perform into her 70s.  She was subject of the 2009 documentary Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight.  She died from AIDS-related complications at age 76.

Bay Area Reporter, July 14, 2011

Vicki Marlane photographs and artifacts at the GLBT Historical Society

Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight on Vimeo

Sam “Bookie” Stewart

Bookie Stewart pic

October 15, 1909 – March 19, 1984

The son of a Russian junk peddler, Sam “Bookie” Stewart worked as manager of his brother-in-law’s bar the Silver Dollar in Detroit in the 1940s and 1950s.  In 1959, Stewart opened the Diplomat, famed for his female impersonators, and from 1970 to 1984 operated Bookie’s Club 870 on West McNichol’s.

Metra, March 28, 1984

Jack Genore

Jack Genore aka Fat Jack pic

June 19, 1928 – October 20, 1995

Negaunee native Jack Genore performed as Fat Jack at the Diplomat, the Gold Dollar, and other Detroit drag venues during the 1960s and 1970s.  He was particularly noted for his rendition of “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.”

Mining Journal, October 22, 1995