Octavia St. Laurent Manolo Blahnik, who The New York Times called a "scintillating performer," died yesterday, May 17, 2009. Wolfgang Busch has reported that the cause of her death was cancer.
According to her Myspace page, Ms. St. Laurent was born and raised in Brooklyn. "My interests are theatrics, arts of all kinds," she wrote in her profile.
After achieving success in Harlem Ballroom competitions, Ms. St. Laurent found work signing and acting outside the Ballroom community. In the 1993 film, The Saint of Fort Washington, Ms. St. Laurent worked with Matt Dillon and Danny Glover. Much later, Ms. St. Laurent would be featured in the documentary, How Do I Look.
Ms. St. Laurent's Myspace page is dedicated to her work to increase respect for a person's sexual identity. The theme song to the television show, Wonder Woman, plays in a continuous loop, equal parts camp and seriousness: for, Ms. St. Laurent wrote in her profile, she was born a eunuch.
Earlier today, Kevin Omni released an announcement in which he wrote, in part :
I first laid eyes on Octavia as Octavia in 1982. She walked against the icons Margo Princess, Doray Princess, and she battled the likes of icon Tenneille Reid Dupree, Pamela Cartier, and others....
Octavia was a winner, she never gave up.... From 'Paris Is Burning' to The Maury Povich Show to How Do I Look, we will always treasure and remember the lifetime achiever/icon, Octavia.
A viewing has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 26, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the funeral home of R. Stutzman & Son, 224 - 39 Jamaica Ave Queens Village, NY 11428. Please call R. Stutzman & Son at (718) 465-3210 for more information.
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