Las Vegas star impersonator: I am devastated by Joan Rivers’ passing
Drag artist Frank Marino, who has performed as Joan Rivers for over 30 years, says he is “devastated” by her passing.
Frank Marino – who has had cosmetic surgery to look more like Rivers – has performed as her in Las Vegas shows since 1985, and holds the record for the longest-running headliner on the Vegas strip.
He told Pink News: “I’m extremely devastated to hear the news of Joan’s passing.
“This is a lady that not only inspired my career with her amazing talent but was also the one to introduce me to the producers of my first show which kicked off my 30 year career of impersonating her.”
Rivers famously sued Marino for $5 million in the 1980s, but the pair later reconciled, and made several appearances together.
He continued: “Whether she knew it or not, she was not only a good friend but also like a second mother to me.
“My heart also goes out to Melissa Rivers, who was not only Joan’s daughter but probably her best friend. In this trying time, my prayers go out to Melissa and her son Cooper for their loss.
“I can’t imagine what my world is going to be like without having Joan in it every day.
“If in any small way I can keep her legacy alive in Las Vegas for years to come, it’ll truly be my honour.”