A Brief Biography of Charles Pierce

Charles Pierce was born on July 14, 1926, (Bastille Day!) in Watertown, New York. He was educated there and during his last two years in high school worked part-time after school at the local radio station, WWNY, as an announcer.

After graduating from Watertown High School, he worked full-time until he packed up and took the Super Chief to California to attend the Pasadena Playhouse in 1946. In 1948, upon graduating from this drama school, he worked summers in Newport, Rhode Island, at the Casino Theater as actor and stage manager. In New York City he was seen in several off-Broadway productions.

In the early '50s he returned to the Pasadena Playhouse as an actor. During this period he was impressed with several night club acts in Los Angeles and decided to do an act himself. After appearing as a Sunday afternoon guest at Club La Vie, in Altadena, California, the crowd's response was so great that the owners made their own decision about Charles' career. They knocked out walls, put in a stage, grand piano, lights and hired him to "do the show"! Beginning in September, 1954, he performed there many months, then moved onto engagements in Florida and San Francisco. The rest is not exactly history but it does fill the pages of a small book. For the next 36 years, he played clubs and theaters in the United States, Canada and London, England, while acting in films and television.

His last show was at the Pasadena Playhouse Balcony Theater on October 7, 1990, where he began in 1952 with a book reading one-man show.

Charles said, "Now I have come full circle and it is time to hang up the dresses, take off the wigs and be myself for awhile. I will not retire. I have just abdicated."

Charles Pierce resided in Hollywood, California, until his death on May 31, 1999. Among his many friends and neighbors were Bob and Dolores Hope; Jo Anne Worley; Jonathan Winters; Alice Ghostley and her husband, Felice Orlandi; and veteran actor and acting school classmate, Bill Erwin.

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