After the war he started performing as Tony Midnite in Galveston and then played clubs in many US cities. He joined The Jewel Box Revue in 1948, but later left to begin a career as a costume designer. He was a friend and colleague of Hedy Jo Star.
He opened a studio in Chicago in 1952. He defied the Chicago Police Department which did not want impersonation acts in the city by booking The Jewel Box Revue for two weeks, and it was so successful that it stayed for eight months.
82 Club. He did the costumes for the road shows of Gypsy and Carnival!, for the Metropolitan Opera and some television shows.
In 1964 he returned to Chicago and started his own show, which included Gayle Sherman. He was active in the gay movement there. He was part of the local demonstration against anti-gay advocate Anita Bryant in 1977, and again against the police harassment while Jane Byrne was Chicago’s mayor. He was a book reviewer for several publications.
Tony was inducted into Chicago’s Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1996.
He moved to Las Vegas in 2000 and did the planning for the 2001 Jewel Box reunion.
He died age 82.
- James T. Sears. Rebels, Rubyfruit, and Rhinestones: Queering Space in the Stonewall South. Rutgers University Press 421 pp 2001: 78-9, 81.
- “Passages: Tony Midnite”. Windy City Times, 2009-09-09,. www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=22835