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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 20 April 1943Galesburg, Illinois, USA
Date of Death 14 September 2002Riverside, California, USA  (lung cancer)
Birth NameJames R. Maley

Mini Bio (2)

Michael Greer was an actor and comedian. His most famous role was as Queenie, the prison drag queen in Sal Mineo's stage and the Harvey Hart film versions of "Fortune and Men's Eyes" (Fortune and Men's Eyes (1971)), which dealt with sex in prison. Mr. Greer appeared as Don Johnson's friend in the 1960s cult film The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart (1970). That movie was also Don Johnson's big screen debut. Other credits include the B-Movie sex comedy Summer School Teachers (1974) and The Gay Deceivers (1969) about two guys avoiding combat in Vietnam by pretending to be gay. He also had bit parts in the Steve Martin comedy The Lonely Guy (1984) and the Bette Midler vehicle The Rose (1979)

Michael was also famous for his live performances as a comedian. Of particular note was a monologue, as the Mona Lisa, holding a giant gilded frame around himself.

He wrote supplemental material for Debbie Reynolds Vegas act, and was once called in to dub Bette Davis' voice when she refused to loop over scenes.

Greer was somewhat a victim of early "gaysploitation" films. A talented actor, it never occurred to him that once he had turned in solid performances as designated that he would not be allowed to work as much else, partially because no one had done it before.

He is not acknowledged much in gay cinema because of a climate of political correctness. He is probably more accurately remembered by friends, colleagues, and punters that saw his live work, than by Hollywood.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Mark Davis user markdcomic

Michael Greer performed with a comedy troupe named 'Jack and the Jiants' in the early sixties. He moved to San Francisco in 1967 and headlined at The Purple Onion II on Broadway. He toured his one-man show in the 80s appearing regularly in Provincetown, the Russian River in California as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Schultz

Trivia (1)

Michael's Mona Lisa, aka "Mona the Mouth", evolved over time. Mona started out as a solo character surrounded by a large gilded frame. In the next incarnation, she was flanked by similar sized reproductions of Lawrence's "Pinkie" and Gainsborough's "The Blue Boy". In the final version, he said Mona had moved to Marin, Calfornia, and Michael had replaced the gilded frame with a redwood hot tub.

Once, while appearing at The Hayloft in Studio City, California, he asked that all the lights be turned out, and he launched into an impression of Billie Holiday singing "My Man" that was eerily accurate. He wanted the lights out, he said, because he thought it would be too distracting to hear the voice of a small black woman coming out of the body of a very tall white man.

He spoke very proudly of his role in "The Gay Deceivers". He said he played his character "like Eve Arden on acid". He was particularly proud that his character was one of the first gay characters in mainstream cinema who was neither killed nor disgraced nor committed suicide, but instead had a hand in helping the protagonist. He also said that the costume department had turned the costume party scene into something very unflattering, and that he spent a good bit of time early that day bringing the costumes down to a more believable level.

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