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Varla Jean Merman is a character originated and portrayed by Jeffery Roberson, an American actor, singer and drag performer. Varla's fictitious pedigree boasts that Ernest Borgnine is her father and Ethel Merman is her mother.
Varla is perhaps best known for her role in the 2003 independent film Girls Will Be Girls. She also had a co-starring role in the 1997 film Franchesca Page. Varla was also one of the performers featured in the HBO original documentary Dragtime. She has appeared in a number of short films and live cabaret acts since she and her male alter-ego attended the School of Music at Louisiana State University.
Varla's shows are a staple of summer entertainment in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She also performs fairly often in New Orleans, New York City, San Francisco, London and has also enjoyed billing at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia.
Roberson has almost always been credited as either "Varla Merman" or "Varla Jean Merman" rather than his birth name.
- Varla's official site
- Varla Jean Merman's profile on the Internet Movie Database
- Varla's collaboration with Vidkid Timo
- Varla's role as "Rosemary Chicken"
Along with co-stars Miss Coco Peru and Evie Harris, Merman shared the Best Actor Grand Jury Award at Outfest 2003 and "Best Actress" honors at the 2003 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival for her role in Girls Will Be Girls.
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