Howard Rollins, also known as Howard Ellsworth Rollins Jr., leads a double life. While Rollins pretended to be a male in front of the camera, he also disguised up as a sassy lady on occasion. The change of the American actor into a lady was first revealed after his untimely death on December 8, 1996. At the moment of his death, he was dressed in a spangled gown and a wig.
More importantly, his friends and neighbors went on to share details of his metamorphosis, implying that he had been a secret gay all along.
Howard Rollins found “relief” by dressing up as a woman
Howard Rollins was a secret keeper, preferring to keep his personal life and sexual orientation private. However, following Rollins’ death, the secrets were revealed in an interview with the GLOBE on December 24, 1996, by his dearest friends and neighbors.
One of Rollins’ friends said that dressing up as a woman brought him relief. So he’d dress up in dazzling gowns, pricey wigs, and high heels, murmuring, “I’m a lady.” “I’m a lady,” she says. He also dressed up as Tooraloora Goldfarb, put his hands on his hips, and identified himself as a woman. “Excuse me!” he’d say if people called him Howard when he was dressed like that. “My name is Tooraloora Goldfarb.”
Bright, Rollins’ other buddy and 18-year neighbor, told GLOBE that the actor’s favorite thing to do was show off his new feminine-like costumes to his buddies. Rollins would dress up in women’s clothing and go straight to transvestite clubs in search of male lovers, according to him.
Showing off a new dress to a friend was his absolute favorite thing in the world, especially winter ensembles like a women’s coat over a skirt and stockings. When he was in good spirits, he enjoyed dressing up in a stunning woman’s clothing and visiting transvestite clubs in search of male partners. Furthermore, colleagues of the late-stage actor claimed that the late actor would stand in front of his mirror in his robes, adjusting his artificial bosoms and seams. Franco, one of his friends, even mentioned that he had a wig collection of six-four blondes, a brunette, and a redhead.
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He desired a gold beaded cocktail dress for his funeral attire
Even though his choice of dressing as a woman was kept a secret from the general public, Rollins didn’t keep it a secret from the individuals he knew. While dropping off his groceries, he had allowed his neighbor, Marcie Hirsch, to see him dressed in feminine clothing. He was wearing a frock and a blonde wig and eating Haagen-Daz while watching reruns of his show.
In addition, the Ragtime star had requested that his best pals bury him as a woman. He ordered that he be buried in a black and gold beaded party dress, complete with makeup and fake eyelashes. It was just a coincidence, but Rollins died after a few weeks of such requests. He was discovered asleep in his residence, dressed in a spangled gown and wearing a wig.
Despite the best efforts of the paramedics who transported him to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center, he died of AIDS-related cancer complications. His body was later delivered to his family in Baltimore, where he was born. He was cremated.
Overall, Rollins’ actions of morphing into a woman, his friends’ statements, and the fact that he died dressed as a woman suggest that he was homosexual.