Darcelle XV Cause of Death, Life, Age, Spouse, Children, Net Worth


Walter Cole, formerly known as Tarcell XV, Portland’s legendary drag queen, has died. She is Portland’s oldest drag queen. Although he is no longer physically present, his cabaret will carry on his legacy in Portland.

What happened to Darcel XV?

According to a Facebook post from his nightclub, Walter Cole, also known as Torcelle, is a well-known drag queen in Portland. He is 92 years old.

Darcelle XV Showplace’s Facebook post reads the following statement,

The family of Darcel XV, along with his cast and crew, are heartbroken to announce that our beloved Darcel (Walter W. Cole, Sr.) has died of natural causes at the age of 92. We ask for privacy and patience as everyone grieves in their own way and at their own pace. Details of the public memorial will be announced once confirmed. All events at Darcelle XV Showplace are scheduled at Darcelle’s discretion. Please join us in celebrating his legacy and memory, and thank you in advance for your continued support.

Cause of Death of Tarcell XV

The legendary drag queen was a pioneering performer and advocate for LGBT rights in Oregon. Walter W. Darcel, also known as Cole Sr., is the country’s longest-running female impersonator.

He was a longtime business owner in Old Town Portland, where support for gay rights began at a time when same-sex acts were banned and gays and lesbians were subject to legalized discrimination.

Darcelle became an “ambassador” for the straight community as the movement for LGBTQ rights gained momentum and became well-known for her charitable efforts over the years.

According to an official statement, it was confirmed that the Queen passed away at the age of 92 due to natural causes. “The details of the public memorial will be announced once confirmed. All events at Darcelle XV Showplace are scheduled at Darcelle’s discretion.

She donned her stiff blonde wig and sparkly dress last fall to bring back the La Femme Magnifique pageant, which was suspended for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He told OPB last year that until the pandemic, Torcelle XV Showplace had not closed its doors.

“We’ve had some tough times. … But you know what’s really amazing? My staff stayed with me, and when we reopened, they were all there. I love them.”

For more than a year, the “Oregon Experience” crew documented Dorsell at public and private events. They captured behind-the-scenes moments and collected hundreds of images and film clips over the decades. Check out an insider’s look at the legendary Portlander’s result.

Click here to watch the video:


The Oregon-Experience-Walter-Cole-and-His-Legacy

Who is Darcel XV?

Walter W. Cole, a drag queen, performer, and owner and operator of a cabaret in Portland, Oregon, used the stage name Dorcell XV from November 16, 1930 to March 23, 2023.

Her 57-year career as an artist at the time of her death earned her the title of oldest drag queen artist from Guinness World Records in 2016. Cole was born in 1930 and grew up in Portland, Oregon, Linton County. He was known as “four-eyed sissy boy”, a shy person.

After being discharged from the U.S. Army in the late 1950s following the Korean War, he lived a “normal” life in Southeast Portland with his wife and two children. He described himself as having “a crew cut and horn-rimmed glasses” and said he worked at a Fred Meyer store. Military funding enabled him to launch business ventures.

Darcelle XV Scene Location

Cole first bought a coffee shop called Caffé Espresso, which later moved and grew to include Studio A, a jazz club in the basement. He purchased a bar in Northwest Portland in 1967, later renaming it the Dorcell XV Showplace.

At age 37, Cole wore her first female dress. He came out as gay by 1969, creating the persona of Dorcell. While working with Dorsell at Showplace as choreographer, program director, artist, bookkeeper, office manager and payroll accountant, he separated from his wife and began dating Roxy Newhart. They remained together until Newhart’s death in 2017.

Cole as an actor

Cole created his alter ego Tarcell and came out as gay. Cole has a passion for acting and previously worked at the Portland Civic Theatre. Denise Dorcelle, a French actress and singer was honored with the name “Dorcelle”.

Darcel wore dazzling costumes, jewelry and fake eyelashes. Cole described Dorcell’s demeanor as “sequins on the eyelids, lots of feathers, big hair, enormous diamonds and lots of wit”.

Actors in the Torcelle XIV Showplace lip-synced to get around an Oregon regulation that prohibited the use of more than one instrument during performances. After Neuhardt and another man performed a “ballet-like adagio”, the establishment was punished.

Social events

Darcel participated in community events throughout the city. He won the city’s Spirit of Portland Award in 2011 and served as grand marshal of the Starlight Parade at the Portland Rose Festival.

In 2011, Cole and Sharon Knorr published her autobiography, Just Call Me Dorcell. The book reminisces about Cole’s life, including his upbringing, his time in the army, and the character of Dorcell.

A movie titled Maisie is releasing in 2021. It features Maisie Trollette, the stage name of English drag artist David Raven. He turns 85 in 2021 and is now the oldest drag performer in the UK. Raven met Darcell at the Brighton Hotel and Maisie met him at Legends in Brighton.

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