Vern Martelle was a female impersonator whose fifty-year career began in vaudeville; his act was built around lip-synching,
which he claimed to have invented, as well as up to twenty-five costume changes per performance. This collection is composed
of two of Martelle's scrapbooks, which contain clippings, photographs and ephemera.
Vern Martelle (sometimes Verne Martell) was a female impersonator who performed in Europe, North Africa (USO during World
War II), Las Vegas, Seattle (Garden of Allah Club), San Francisco (Finocchio's), and other locales. He enjoyed a fifty-year
career – which began in vaudeville, and incorporated occasional modeling and Hollywood stunt work – and claimed to have been
the first drag performer to lip-synch on stage. His act featured lip-synch and up to twenty-five costume changes per performance.
In 1951, he was billed as “The man with a thousand voices and a thousand gowns.”
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Collection is open for research.