Let's NOT do the Time Warp again.
The Dead Transylvanians from The Rocky Horror Picture Show
During the first year I lived in the UK, I was forbidden to leave or work, because of my visa. During this time, I became very weary, and restless. I was given the opportunity to meet Pat Quinn, who played "Magenta" the maid in one of my favorite films ever, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
It was heaven to meet her, and she graciously let me interview her for an idea I had about a book. The book is now available as toilet paper below : ) Seriously, if you like Rocky Horror - you'll find something good in it, I promise.
I have often wondered who exactly the Transylvanians (Trannies) were in that film. You know, the people that danced the Time Warp. I decided to track them all down, and had considerable success I might add. The first is Sadie Corre, the little one.
She and I have remained very good friends after this.
After Sadie, through talent agencies and word of mouth, I was able to account for all, except for one. Tony Milner.
He seems to have fallen off the face of the earth. There are certainly mentions of him on the internet, but he was unable to be found while I was writing the book.
Peggy Ledger was the first to go, and she was up there when they filmed it, in November of 1974.
She was 74. People have nice memories of Peggy. She was also the only Trannie to have real lines in the film. During the wedding scene, she said, "I always cry at weddings." Most people who see the film in the cinema respond with, "SO DO I, HONEY!" She also was dancing during the Meatloaf song, and replied, "Lovely party."
Peggy lived on a street called Queens Gardens, near Paddington station, in London.
This is her house
and front door.
On the fourth of July 1981, Peggy succumbed to Bronchopneumonia in St. Mary's Hospital, in Westminster.
She was 81 years old. She was the widow of an actor, Hugh Whitmore Ledger, and left behind a son, Charles.
Her funeral was held at St. Paul's (the actors church) in Covent Garden, where Christopher Biggins (probably the most famous Trannie) gave the eulogy.
The next to go was Fran Fullenwider, and yes she was.
Born in Texas originally, she moved to the UK in the 1950s. Fran was a successful model for the UGLY Agency in London. UGLY specifically signed unusual people for their company. I was told by a representative for the company that Fran came in looking for a job as a secretary, but she honestly couldn't fit in the office, so they suggested her for modeling. She was in a few other films aside from Rocky Horror:The Mutations (a fave of mine)
and her last film was House Of The Spirits. She was a huge (HR) success in Italy as a model, and a very good friend of Federico Fellini. Fran lived in a house in Randolph Crescent,
and she died of cardiac arrest and internal bleeding on May 2nd, 1997. It was in the Princess Grace hospital that she died.
Fran was 52 years old.
Findadeath friend JP sends this in, Sept
08: I'm a law student at Baylor University, in Waco TX. We were talking
about probate today, and our prof. read us an old Texas newspaper article about,
of all people, Fran Fullenwider!! Apparently, Ms. FnW inherited millions from a
wealthy TX aunt she never met, while living in England. The article described
Fran as an "Italian moviestar and romantic lead", and said that she
was 5'2" tall and weighted 220 lbs. Just thought it was funny to hear about
her in an otherwise boring class.
PS--my friends found it odd that I knew who she was. :( what's wrong with these people?!
The rest to go include Tony Then - in the days of people being not so politically correct, he was referred to as "chinky" on the set, because of his Asian roots.
Tony was an accomplished musician, and graduated from the Institute of Choreology in London. Later he moved back to his native Singapore, and was cofounder of the Singapore Dance Theatre. He died at the Communicable Diseases Center in Moulmein Road, Singapore, on December 16th of 1995. He was 51. Guess we know what he died of.
Ishaq Bux is dead.
He mainly kept to himself on the set, so there were few recollections of him as a human being. He was in Raiders of the Lost Ark, which is a pretty awesome credit. When I tried to contact him for an interview, I received a letter from his daughter stating that he was too ill to do an interview, but that he had fond recollections of being in the film. Ishaq died on September 2nd, 2000.
Rufus Collins is another mystery.
When I met with Peter Hinwood, the guy that played Rocky, he told me that he understood Rufus was dead. Cosmo of Cosmo's Factory, the most excellent Rocky Horror reference page, told me that he was in touch with Rufus' sister, and that he was indeed dead. He died in New York City, and that's all I know. When Rufus died, he was cremated,
and is in a safe and protective environment.
Another of the Transylvanians, Hugh Cecil, passed away on February 11, 2004. He was a lovely man, and I'm so happy that I got to spend time with him. We kept a correspondence. Hugh was in loads of films and videos, but most famous for Rocky Horror. Rest in peace, Mr. Cecil.
Hugh Cecil 1914 / 13 February, 2004
On June 24, 2005, the wonderful Imogen (not Imogene) Claire left this world. She was one of the most fun people to interview.
Luckily, she and Perry Bedden decided to do a joint interview with me, and we met in Notting Hill Gate. These two were so much fun to be around. What. A. Riot. They just laughed and reminisced, I was pretty much in heaven. My favorite Imogen memory: She was doing pantomime and I had flowers left for her backstage. We waited afterwards for her, and she showed up and sat with us for a while. She looked at me and shouted, "You must think I'm such a c*nt! I've left the flowers backstage." I laughed, and still laugh. RIP Imogen.
The book I co-wrote, "Rocky Horror from Concept to Cult", was launched in London on May 30 of 2002 at the Royal Court Theatre, where I worked as a bartender for the last year of my life in London. It was great for the wonderful publishers at Sanctuary to launch the book in the place "where it all began" in June of 1973.
Guests included Trannies: Perry Bedden, Kimi Wong O'Brien, and Sadie Corre, the three people I met during my research, that I still consider good friends. Also, Terry Ackland Snow, the Art Director, and Trannie, Christopher Biggins. Many people from the UK fan club showed up, and it was just a blast.
Charles Gray is dead too, he was the guy that played the narrator, and Jonathon Adams, Dr. Scott.
Everyone else is pretty much accounted for, and if you get the
book, you can read all about it.
These people made my youth bearable. I am indebted to you forever. Thank you, and Rest In Peace.
Update February 2015: The Riff Raff Statue in New Zealand
Thanks to the lovely Justina Perdija.
Don't Dream It!