The female impersonator, Charles Pierce, who preferred to be called an actor, died of complications from cancer and stroke May 31 in his North Hollywood home, Reuters reported. He was 72. Mr. Pierce, who paved the way for other actors to fearlessly play women, was known for his saucy, frisky impersonations of Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Katharine Hepburn, Carol Channing and other divas of the stage and screen. One San Francisco columnist called him "a male actress."
Reuters reported that among his ardent fans were Channing, Dame Margot Fonteyn and Sir John Gielgud.
Mr. Pierce, who played clubs and theatres around the world, was born in Watertown, NY, July 14, 1926. He moved to Los Angeles and studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse.