Classic Female Impersonator Lavern Cummings Passes Away

| Mar 26, 2018
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Lavern in the '50s.

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Lavern in a glamor shot from the 1950s.

Paul Lavern Cummings, a contemporary female impersonation performer of David de Alba’s, passed away in Las Vegas, Nevada last week as the result of an auto accident. He was born on August 17, 1927. David de Alba wrote the following tribute before Paul/Lavern passed away and Paul/Lavern picked the photos we present above. For more photos visit David de Alba’s website and click on the Lavern Cummings link you will find on the right side of this page. David has been a friend of Lavern’s since 1969. Now that Lavern is gone David, dancer Rene de Carlo and Holly White are the only performers from the Golden Age of Finocchio’s that remain. Thanks to David for letting us know.

One of the most beautiful transformations on stage from make-up and wigs to lovely gowns and the use of personalized musical charts to compliment his soprano voice Lavern left a stellar amount of acting and singing achievement on stage. He performed in The Jewel Box Revue from 1950 to 1956 and during that period had a short run in 1954 at The Beige Room in San Francisco. He opened at Finocchio’s in 1956 and closed in 1982. Toward the end of his career he used the technique of dropping from soprano to baritone. Audiences were shocked seeing he really was a guy in drag. I am lucky to own some of his gowns and musical arrangements. In 1979 Lavern was featured in a TV Movie The Golden Gate Murders. I was very happy for him when it happened. It meant a lot to him too. His latest project was putting together an act of Paul Cummings of today presenting Lavern from the past.

This tribute page would not be complete without the stellar presence of my friend Lavern Cummings. After he retired from Finocchio’s, the stage lights dimmed and things were never the same. As long as my website exists, so will his theatrical past live in Cyberspace!


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Category: Impersonation, Obituary, Transgender Community News, Transgender History

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David de Alba is one of the last survivors of the golden era of female impersonation. Unlike most female impersonators, Mr. de Alba uses his own femme voice on stage. He is known for his outstanding live impersonations of Judy Garland at the world famous Finocchio Club and on countless TV appearances. He is also a celebrity Interviewer and recording artist.

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  1. So, so sad. I cried when I heard the news. Lavern was my “American Idol” from the time I was 13. She was an icon at Finocchio’s and we became friends about 10 years ago. Lavern even gave me some of her jewelry she wore on stage and now I will wear it even more proudly than before. She will be missed. God has a new angel in heaven. Love, Carollyn