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Alexandra Billings

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Alexandra Scott Billings (born March 28, 1962, Los Angeles, California, as Scott William Billings) is an American transsexual actress. She is the first transsexual to have played a transsexual character on television.


Her father, Robert Billings, was a music teacher at Los Angeles Harbor College and the musical director for the L. A. Civic Light Opera House, which influenced her interest in theater. She assisted, working backstage in the shadow of such stars as Carol Burnett (Once Upon a Mattress), Yul Brynner and (The King and I). She also appeared in Jesus Christ Superstar and The Roar of the Greasepaint—the Smell of the Crowd.

In the early 1980s, Billings worked as a female impersonator under the stage name Chante at the famed Baton Show Lounge in Chicago Illinois; winning a series of beauty contests, she was named Miss Wisconsin, Miss New York, Miss Chicago, Miss Illinois, and Miss Florida. She also served as a judge of the Miss Continental pageant in 2000, and 2001.

Most of Billings' professional work has been in Chicago theaters, most notably The Bailiwick Theater, Light Opera Works, Court Theatre, and the Tony Award winning Steppenwolf Theatre. She has collaborated on plays with such notable authors as Larry Kramer, Tina Landau, and Jamie Pachino. She has received one Joseph Jefferson Award, and 5 After Dark Awards for her work in Chicago Theater.

Her one woman autobiographical show has toured to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and off Broadway.

She has appeared in the 2003 made-for-TV movie Romy and Michelle: A New Beginning on ABC and in an episode of the ABC show Karen Sisco, which has been aired in reruns on TBS. She has also played transsexual characters in episodes of ER and Grey's Anatomy.

Billings is also a professional singer who performs in theaters and nightclubs throughout the United States. She recorded her second CD, The Story Goes On, in 2003, which was produced by Lampkin Music and directed by Russ Long. Her first CD "Being Alive" was up for Grammy consideration. She was a recipient of the New York MAC Hanson Award for Cabaret Artist of the Year in 2004.

She has taught Viewpoints at the Steppenwolf Summer School since 2002, as well as Louis University, The University of Chicago, Illinois University, for the Illinois Theatre Convention, at Act One Studios, and various Master classes and workshops around the Chicago area. Currently, she teaches alongside Steppenwolf company members Tom Irwin and Jeff Perry at the Steppenwolf School West in Los Angeles California.

Billings lives in Hollywood California with her wife Chrisanne. They were married in a commitment ceremony in Chicago in December 1996. It is thought that every role played by Alexandra has been the first time they've been played by a transsexual in the history of theater.

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