Vegas’ most famous drag queen just called me to say he is going under the plastic surgery knife for the umpteenth time today, so let’s take this opportunity to update his future obituary.
Just kidding. He won’t die. He has great doctors. But still.
Frank Marino already wears a chin implant, a cheek implant, a nose job, an eye job, and a neck job — and he’s done liposuction, filler and every kind of laser job on the planet for skin rejuvenation.
I asked him what he would look like if he had never dipped his body in the ink of a surgeon’s scalpel.
“I would look like a shark,” Marino said. “I had buck teeth, a big nose, and no chin. With a little work, I look like Pamela Anderson.”
“But I have never done something age-altering before. I’m getting a jaw implant to get a nice chiseled feature. I’m also getting a face-lift.
“So I literally have two doctors working on me” for possibly eight hours under anesthesia.
“Everybody’s telling me I’m crazy and I shouldn’t do it,” he said. “But everybody around me is young.”
Marino is 50. He wants to look good for his age (he’s not trying to look 30) thanks to his incoming Katharine Hepburn jaw.
“In Vegas, so many people have plastic surgery but refuse to admit it.”
That is a thunderous understatement. But Marino can’t even get all the nip/tucks he asked for. He wanted butt and peck implants. His doctor said no.
“She says one is dangerous (the butt) and one is unnecessary. She said, ‘Use the poor man’s surgery and go to the gym.’ ”
OK, let’s get on with Frank Marino’s future obit:
Madonna, Beyoncé, Diana Ross, Bette Midler, Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Rivers and other real superstars have gone to see their male impersonator equivalents at “Frank Marino’s Divas” (now at the Quad).
“Dolly Parton came onstage, took her earrings off and gave them to our Dolly Parton. She was great,” Marino said.
“Whitney Houston wanted to sit in a seat right up front, so she was literally at my foot when I was doing my monologue, and I have never been so nervous in my entire life,” Marino said.
“Sandra Bullock — when I was doing ‘Miss Congeniality’ with her — came in to see the show, and I made the mistake of introducing her.
“We couldn’t continue the show. People went wild, running over to her booth. She had to sneak out and come backstage, because I didn’t realize how big of a star she was.”
There’s a reason divas are impersonated by men more than women.
“To get impersonated, you have to basically be in drag yourself, like Cher and Diana Ross and Dolly Parton. Their caricatures are all hair and makeup already. So that makes it easy for us.
“And they’re very strong women, so there’s that sense of androgyny.”
When Marino started in Vegas in the 1980s, he knew Liberace and other Strip stars, but he never romanced them.
“Somebody asked me the other day, ‘Has anybody famous ever asked you out?’ I had to say ‘No.’ Isn’t that sad?”
Doug Elfman’s column appears on Page 3A in the main section on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He also writes for Neon on Fridays. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.