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Exclusive interview with longtime Las Vegas headliner Frank Marino

By Tricia Kean,


Frank Marino is one of the highest paid female impersonators in the world. He's considered a gay icon here, pushing the envelope as a Las Vegas headliner for close to 40 years.

As we celebrate Pride Month, Frank Marino invited Tricia Kean to sit down for an exclusive interview about breaking barriers and a personal tour of his gorgeous Las Vegas estate.


You could say he's the ultimate Las Vegas diva.

Marino recently invited me for an exclusive tour of his Las Vegas estate, complete with wigs and gowns.

"This is a Bob Mackie gown I just love on stage the yellow and black swirls," says Marino.

He's best known for his long-time starring role as Joan Rivers in the Las Vegas drag revue, Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas!

"You know Joan Riviers. What did she think of your show?" asks Tricia. "Joan Rivers was really great. She would say, I guess my career is so powerful that I was able to support two households, and she was," says Marino.

He first started playing Rivers in an Evening at La Cage at the Riviera Hotel and Casino, which lasted 20 years. The comedian once sued him.

"We eneded up going to court. She sued me for $5 million in 1986. Thank God we settled because back then I was like $80 short, but we went full circle," says Marino.

He has two stars on the Las Vegas Walk of Fame. Mayor Oscar Goodman has honored his commitment to hard work and Las Vegas with Frank Marino Day, February 1st.


This legendary drag queen has also become a gay icon.

"How do you feel when people think of you as a gay icon?" asks Tricia. "I think it's a compliment. I guess icon makes me old, but that's okay because I am old. I'm just happy that I'm here," says Marino.

He goes on to say, "I should say, I guess I'm glad I had such a role in the gay community in many different ways. Not only in Las Vegas, but outside of Las Vegas as well."

While Marino has lived an over-the-top life as an openly gay, famous drag queen, who proudly does his own make up and lives life authentically. He says not all Las Vegas performers have been able to bean open book.

"I mean, they're gone now, but people like Siegfried and Roy, they couldn't even in Las Vegas, couldn't come out," says Marino.

He goes on to say, "Because they were playing the role of a man on stage where I guess the persona of being in drag made it easier for people to accept me, as odd as that sounds."


In honor of LGBTQ pride this month, Marino is doing a special show at Frankie's Uptown in Downtown Summerlin.

He's hoping the community comes out to celebrate.

"You know, it's 2023. I think that you're going to be pretty safe if you come out cause most people are going to praise you, rather than put you down," says Marino.

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