Electra Jane O'Mara, the STONEWALL Veterans' Association
is shown proudly in front of the legendary Stonewall Club on
in Greenwich Village, New York, with her longtime best
friend, Stonewall vet and S.V.A. President Williamson
Henderson (center) along with their mutually close friend, fellow
vet and S.V.A. Treasurer Terri Van Dyke (who died less
than eleven months prior to Electra).
Electra (blue shorts) leading the 1999 parade with a 1966 Cadillac convertible
Electra is proudly pictured in front of the "Stonewall Car"
[Photo via Heritage of Pride's GLBT Pride Guide]
The location is on fabulous Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan in front of the landmark New York City Public Library at 42nd Street. Riding in the 1969 "Stonewall Car" is Toni Polita (standing left), Thomas R. Stevens (crouching low), Cristina Hayworth (standing right) and Williamson Henderson (blond hair blowing). Driving the powerful car is Amir "The Gore-illa" Qaharr. Not visible is Terri Van Dyke riding shotgun.
Electra J. O'Mara has proudly proclaimed many times over the years that "One of my biggest thrills in life is leading the annual Gay Pride Parade in New York City with the famous blue 1969 Cadillac convertible now known as the "Stonewall Car". I knew the car before it was grabbed by the cops at the Stonewall Rebellion when it was simply known by sight usually on Christopher Street near The Stonewall Club as an absolutely beautiful and very expensive car. It still is both!"
Campin' it up with Electra Jane on the Cherry Grove Ferry
Gay Tony Azito and "F/H" Electra O'Mara in a Cherry Grove scene
Electra on a Gay Throne at The Belvedere Hotel in Fire Island
Is dramatic Electra O'Mara really a "Fag Hag"? Is that calmatic sea a blue?
Ellen Jane O'Mara was born at a peaceful time at nearly the very end
of one of the most crucial and unpeaceful decades in United States
history: the 1940s. It was like she caught the caboose of a
long, long train. That analogy would come to symbolize most
of her later life. Little Miss O'Mara was born in Poly
Clinic Hospital on the Eastside of Manhattan, New York. (The
hospital is no longer there.) At that time, her parents had the
family home on East 66th Street in Manhattan. Throughout her
adult life, she worked very hard to maintain a life and residence
in "the capital of the world".
"Electra", as she was later appropriately nicknamed effective 1969 after the establishment of her professional acting career, was always an actress at heart..... Electra's first Broadway gig was in the 1967 play "The Freaking-Out of Stephanie Blake". It starred veteran Hollywood actress Jean Arthur (then 67 in 1967) of "Shane" movie fame. The play also featured newcomer William Devane, later of many films and the popular, long-running C.B.S. television series "Knots Landing". As a result of this play, rebelious Electra and straight-headed Bill became longtime friends. It was so much so that Bill came to know and help the entire O'Mara family, especially the receptive younger sister Joan. When the O'Mara father died, Bill and his wife Eugenia were at the Irish wake. The "Stephanie Blake" play's music and lyrics were by pop music songwriting sensation Jeff Barry, the other half of (Ellie) Greenwich/Barry compositions such as "Be My Baby", "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Chapel of Love". And guess who was girl groups music friends with Ellie? Electra!
The play "TFOOSB" also had an unprofessional, difficult to work with, nasty in attitude, little bit unknown player named James Fouratt, who would later surface on the fringes of the "Stonewall Story". Only then, he would be simply known as "the Gay rat". Like everyone else, Electra loathed him. "He is a very nasty Gay man" declared Electra, "one of the nastiest ever". While Electra was a semi-regular at the theatrical Stonewall Club with her Gay acting friends and colleagues for about three years, "the Gay rat" never set foot in the place. Electra was therefore the one to nail Fouratt that "The Gay rat was nowhere near the start of the Stonewall Rebellion. Truth be told, he was out of state in jail on another drug conviction. Electra was at the uprising the very first night (and the second and the third); she saw who was and who wasn't there!
=Electra & S.V.A. Biography=
By trade, Electra was originally an actress, including co-starring
in a Broadway show, "The Freaking Out of Stephanie Blake".
The musical starred William Devane and was written by
renowned songwriter Jeff
Barry of Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry fame "Be My Baby", Today I Met
The Boy I'm Gonna Marry", 'Hanky Panky", "Baby I Love You", "Da
Doo Ron Ron", "And Then He Kissed Me", etc.
FYI, like millions of others, Electra loved all of those records!
For many years, Electra was the S.V.A. liaison with the
non-profit AIDS resource organization Broadway Cares/Equity Fights
AIDS ("BC/EFA"). Electra was always involved in the SVA's very
fun-filled annual "Stonewall Showtyme". It was typically held at
The Stonewall Cabaret. She sometimes
officiated as the stage
show emcee. In the last years of her life --
always connected to the
entertainment world -- Electra worked effectively for the
fund-raising division of the famous Philharmonic Hall in
Manhattan, New York. For decades, Electra Jane O'Mara was an
active and proud member of the Executive Committee of the STONEWALL
Sunrise: September 13th, 1949
Manhattan, New York
Sunset: Wednesday, September 29th, 2004
Manhattan, New York
Age: 55 (barely... and looked much less)
Funeral: Saturday, October 9, 2004
Ridgewood, Queens, New York
*G*L*B*T* History Month