1946-05-20

Singer, actress, living mannequin for Bob Mackie costumes CHER, was born on this date as Cherilyn Sarkisian. She has the rare distinction of having won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award and three Golden Globe Awards. Cher has been imitated by drag queens across the world for decades. Her transition to dance music and social activism in recent years has further contributed to her iconic popularity within the Gay community. The NBC sitcom Will & Grace acknowledged her status by making her the idol of Gay character Jack McFarland. Cher guest-starred as herself twice on the sitcom. In 2000 Cher made a cameo on the show, in which Jack believed her to be a drag queen, and said he could “do” a better Cher himself. Cher has become one of the Gay community’s most vocal advocates.

At several of her live concert appearances, Cher acknowledged the audience by declaring, “good evening, ladies and gentlemen… and flamboyant gentlemen!” In 2003 Cher staged a huge “farewell” tour that saw the smoldering diva play to more than 1.5 million fans in North America alone. She is now, perhaps, as famous for being the struggling-to-understand mother of FTM-transgendered son, CHAZ BONO.