January 28, 1952 – February 27, 1992
Detroit native Richard Steven Shank graduated from Novi High School in 1971 and worked as a waiter and bartender at Morey’s and the Escape. Shank was also involved in local community theater and for a time performed female impersonation as Rickie Day. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 39.
Cruise, March 18, 1992
September 2, 1941 – April 20, 1992
Detroit native and onetime resident of Dallas, Texas, Sharon Piazza worked as a bouncer at Menjo’s in Detroit and performed in local community theater.
This Week in Texas, May 1, 1992
October 24, 1927 – July 6, 1961
Born in Detroit, William John Cornell attended Wayne University and, as one of city’s premier theatrical press agents in the 1950s, represented various stars when they visited the Motor City, including Ethel Merman and Marlena Dietrich. Cornell and his partner Peter Prass were killed when a fire gutted their Chicago Boulevard apartment.
Detroit Free Press, July 7, 1961
December 21, 1947 – September 24, 2009
Raised in Highland Park, Leslie Leonelli attended Oakland University and worked in local theater in Rochester and beyond Michigan before moving to New York City in 1973. Following a career off-Broadway, she worked as a massage therapist and helped found the women’s production company Ars Pro Femina. Later in life she operated Pearl’s Rainbow, a renowned resort for women.
Lesbian Connection, January/February 2010
November 14, 1964 – July 14, 1994
Shelby Township resident Roy Vance Warren was born in Grosse Pointe and attended the Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint. Warren served as president of the Detroit Sign Theater and was involved in other deaf organizations. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 29.
Cruise, August 10, 1994
October 1, 1987 – January 23, 2011
Born in Southfield, Kyle Bolton began writing plays in grade school. The Beverly Hills resident earned his B.F.A. from Wayne State University and with two college friends formed the art4artillery Theater Company in 2009 to stage socially engaging and LGBT-themed works. He lost his life in an automobile accident at age 23.
Between The Lines, February 3, 2011
October 24, 1962 – July 22, 1994
Christopher Case attended Washtenaw Community College for his LPN and worked for many years in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Hospital. Case was also active in the Ann Arbor theater scene. He died of complications from AIDS at age 31.
Between The Lines, September 1994