Desiree DeMornay. (Photo via DeMornay’s Facebook)
Celebrated drag entertainer Dana “Desiree DeMornay” Randolph, known for her work in Tampa Bay and beyond, died Jan. 24 after a diagnosis of stomach cancer. She was 51.
Friends, family and fans shared the news Jan. 24 via social media, which Watermark has confirmed. DeMornay was a seasoned talent from Louisiana who served as the show director for Hamburger Mary’s Tampa and more before relocating to Phoenix, Arizona in recent years.
The entertainer was a longtime competitor, capturing titles throughout the nation. They included Miss Phoenix Pride 2022, Miss Black Universe 2019, Miss Mardi Gras 2018, Miss Sunshine State Black Universe 2017, Miss Victorian International Plus 2017, Miss Gay USofA at Large 2011, Miss Large and Lovely 2010, Miss Lakeland 2008 and more.
DeMornay publicly reflected on her cancer diagnosis and treatment via social media. She wrote on Jan. 7 that “I have been very ill, and I don’t have the energy right now to talk to everybody I love and everybody that loves me.
“I see your messages, and I promise I am not ignoring any of you,” she continued. “I am really just reserving my energy and fighting to get better. I LOVE YOU ALL!”
Tributes for the drag legend poured in from across the nation Jan. 24, including local Pride organizations.
“The Tampa Pride organization expresses deep sorrow upon receiving the news of Desiree A DeMornay’s passing,” Tampa Pride wrote. “Being an integral part of our local community for many years, Desiree brought a vibrant energy and unwavering pageantry that touched the lives of all who knew and loved her.
“We honor her legacy and remember her for the love and beauty she brought to our community,” the organization continued. “May she rest in power, forever cherished and remembered as a beautiful soul.”
“Desiree DeMornay was a force within our community. It brings us great sadness to hear of her passing,” Polk Pride also shared. “Desiree blazed trails for LGBTQ+ entertainers locally and nationwide, acquiring several titles throughout her career, including Miss Lakeland 2008. We grieve for her loss alongside all who loved her.”
Miss Black Universe Pageantry shared the news as well:
Southern Nights Tampa noted that a memorial service will be planned to honor DeMornay’s legacy, sharing condolences of their own.
“Southern Nights expresses their deepest condolences and sorrow to all that are feeling the loss of our beloved Desiree DeMornay,” they wrote. “We pray for comfort to all touch by her love and have experienced her entertainment. She will be deeply missed. Please stay tuned for an announcement of a memorial service. ‘Fly high our beloved angel.'”
A memorial is currently planned for DeMornay at MCC Tampa on Feb. 12 at 1 p.m., located at 408 E. Cayuga St. in Tampa. Read more below: