Jean Malin in 1933’s film “Arizona to Broadway” | Copyright control | 17159gh
On 10 August, 1933, Jean Malin, his boyfriend Jimmy Forlenza and fellow actor Patsy Kelly piled into Jean’ss car to head off to a party at the Hollywood Barn.
Tired after finishing a fortnight-long booking, Malin accidentally put the car into reverse, driving it off Venice Pier into the water. Forlenza and Kelly escaped. Malin was trapped under the steering wheel. The brightest star of America’s Pansy parties was dead at 25.
An American actor, compére and drag performer during the jazz age, Victor Eugene James Malinovsky was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 30, 1908. He used the stage names Jean Malin and Imogene Wilson. He was one of the first openly gay performers, and in the Prohibition era.
In his teens he was already well known for his drag appearances and costumes, and for his stage work in various musical chorus lines. At the same time he was appearing in Greenwich Village clubs as a drag artiste.
Malin drowned in a car accident on August 10, 1933.
Chris Helgren/Reuters | 15362
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern was built in 1863 at Spring Gardens, Kennington Lane, on land which was originally part of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and was originally a music hall. It seems to have been a local gay pub ever since it opened as a public house. After the second world war it became associated with drag acts, with performances from Hinge and Bracket, Regina Fong and Lily Savage. On one occasion Princess Diana went there dressed as a man.
On 8 September 2015, in an attempt to save it from being closed by new owners and the site re-developed, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern was made a grade II listed building – the first building in the UK to be listed in recognition of its importance to LGBT community history. This followed a campaign supported by Boris Johnson, Sir Ian McKellen, Paul O’Grady and others.