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Kenneth Marlowe

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Kenneth Marlowe
Born
Kenneth Bies

(1926-11-26)November 26, 1926
DiedApril 30, 1990(1990-04-30) (aged 63)
Other namesKatherine "Kate" Marlowe Bies
Occupation(s)Author, Entertainer, Hairdresser
Known for"Mr. Madam: Confessions of a Male Madam" (1964)
SpouseRobert "Lonnie" Barnes

Kenneth Marlowe, also known as Katherine "Kate" Marlowe Bies, was born on November 26, 1926, in Des Moines, Iowa. He later moved to Tipton, Nebraska. From a young age, Kenneth showed a keen interest in the entertainment industry.[1][2][3]

Career[change | change source]

Exotic Dancer[change | change source]

In 1948, Kenneth worked as an exotic dancer at Club My-O-My in New Orleans, a prominent venue known for its lively performances.[4]

Hairdresser[change | change source]

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Kenneth became a renowned hairdresser, catering to celebrities like Gypsy Rose Lee, Phyllis Diller, and Imogene Coca.[5]

Entertainer[change | change source]

In 1971, Kenneth hosted "The Tricia Nixon Wedding/Vaudeville Returns" show at the Nob Hill Theatre in San Francisco. This event showcased his versatility and charisma as an entertainer.[6]

Transition and Advocacy[change | change source]

In 1975, Kenneth transitioned and became Katherine "Kate" Marlowe Bies. To support the transition, Kate held a fundraiser called "The Ball to End All Balls" at the California Hall in San Francisco, attended by notable figures including journalist Armistead Maupin and performer Sally Rand. The event was widely covered and highlighted the support Kate received from her community.[7][8][9]

Personal Life[change | change source]

Marriage[change | change source]

On June 29, 1977, Kate married Robert "Lonnie" Barnes, an inmate at San Quentin Prison, making her the first transgender person to marry in a California State Prison. This marriage marked a significant milestone in the recognition of transgender rights.[10][11]

Literary and Theatrical Contributions[change | change source]

Mr. Madam[change | change source]

In 1964, Kenneth authored the best-seller "Mr. Madam: Confessions of a Male Madam," which provided an insightful look into his life and experiences. The book received considerable acclaim and established Kenneth as a notable author.[12]

Plays[change | change source]

In June 2022, a play titled "Mr. Madam" premiered in Portland, Oregon, featuring Wade McCollum as Kenneth/Kate. The play was later rewritten and renamed "Make Me Gorgeous!" It premiered off-Broadway at Playhouse 46 in New York City on November 10, 2023, and received strong critical praise, being hailed as one of the best plays of 2023.[13]

Legacy[change | change source]

Kate Marlowe's life and career left a lasting impact on the LGBTQ+ community. Her courage and resilience continue to inspire many, and her contributions to literature and entertainment are celebrated.[14][15]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Make Me Gorgeous! The True Story of Kenneth "Mr. Madam" Marlowe | Theater in New York". Time Out New York. 2023-11-10. Retrieved 2024-05-29.
  2. "Hidden No More: Gay Trailblazer Kenneth Marlowe and His Life Head to the Stage – Connecticut Voice". ctvoice.com. Retrieved 2024-05-29.
  3. "Hollywood LGBTQ Madam Kenneth Marlowe". AMBER LIVE | Drag Queen Comedy. Retrieved 2024-05-29.
  4. Carlin, Dave (2023-11-12). "New play "Make Me Gorgeous!" explores life of often-overlooked figure in LGBTQ history - CBS New York". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2024-05-29.
  5. Carlin, Dave. "New play "Make Me Gorgeous!" explores life of Kenneth Marlowe". WGHN. Retrieved 2024-05-29.
  6. "New play "Make Me Gorgeous!" explores life of Kenneth Marlowe". Yahoo News. 2023-11-13. Retrieved 2024-05-29.
  7. Wild, Stephi. "Photos: MAKE ME GORGEOUS! Celebrates 97th Birthday of Kenneth/Kate Marlowe". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2024-05-29.
  8. "Kenneth Marlowe - Mr Madam". queermusicheritage.com. Retrieved 2024-05-29.
  9. Carlin, Dave (2023-11-12). "New play "Make Me Gorgeous!" explores life of often-overlooked figure in LGBTQ history - CBS New York". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2024-05-29.
  10. "A Curious Evening with Kenneth Marlow (January 17, 1971) - Digital Transgender Archive". www.digitaltransgenderarchive.net. Retrieved 2024-05-29.
  11. "Hidden No More: Gay Trailblazer Kenneth Marlowe and His Life Head to the Stage – Connecticut Voice". ctvoice.com. Retrieved 2024-05-29.
  12. Marlowe, Kenneth (1967). Mr. Madam: Confessions of a Male Madam. Mayflower Books Limited. ISBN 978-0-284-39245-9.
  13. "Make Me Gorgeous!, The True Story of Kenneth 'Mr. Madam' Marlowe, Makes Off-Broadway Premiere November 10".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. "Mr. Madam / by Kenneth Marlowe". Wellcome Collection. Retrieved 2024-05-29.
  15. "Kenneth Marlowe". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 2024-05-29.