Former Portland drag queen Darcelle XV, whose real name was Walter Cole, has died. She held a special place in Portland’s history as its oldest drag queen. Even though she is no longer with us, her Portland cabaret will live on in perpetuity. If you want to find out what happened to her and why Darcelle XV died, keep reading this page.
What happened to Darcelle XV?
Portland’s Walter Cole, as “Darcelle,” was a well-known drag queen, as evidenced by a Facebook post from his nightclub. He was 92. The following is a statement that was posted on Facebook by Darcelle XV Showplace:
The cast and crew of “Darcelle XV” are devastated to share the news that Walter W. Cole, Sr. (Darcelle) passed away at the age of 92 from natural causes. Please respect each person’s right to grieve and process in their own time and space. As soon as plans for a public memorial are finalized, details will be shared. Darcelle XIV Showplace’s scheduled events will go ahead as planned. We appreciate your continuing support and hope you can join us as we honor her life and work.
How Did Darcelle XV Died?
The legendary drag queen was an early proponent of Gay rights and a trailblazing performance in Oregon. Darcelle, as Walter W. Cole Senior, held the title of longest-running female impersonator in the United States.
She had a successful company in Old Town Portland, and she had been an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights from the days when such behavior was illegal and discrimination against homosexuals and lesbians was officially sanctioned.
As the fight for LGBTQ rights gained steam, Darcelle acquired notoriety for her charitable work and became recognized as a “ambassador” to the straight community.
The queen’s death at age 92 was reportedly the result of natural causes, as reported by the government. As soon as plans for a public monument are finalized, we will share them with the public. Darcelle XIV Showplace’s scheduled events will go ahead as planned.
This November, she donned her edgy blonde wig and a glitter-covered gown to revive the La Femme Magnifique pageant, which had been postponed for two years due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Before the epidemic, she said last year on OPB, Darcelle XV Showplace was open nonstop.
We went through some rough patches. But do you know the most amazing part? The employees that stayed with me were all present when we reopened. “I adore them.
Darcelle was followed around by “Oregon Experience” cameras for over a year as she attended both public and private events. They gathered hundreds of photographs and video clips spanning several decades, documenting behind-the-scenes action. Check out the behind-the-scenes look at the renowned Portlander it produced.