Erica Andrews

Erica Andrews (September 30, 1969 – March 11, 2013) was a Mexican international and national beauty pageant title winner, drag performer, actress, entrepreneur, and activist.

Erica Andrews
Erica Andrews Shankbone 2010 NYC.jpg
Andrews at the Tribeca Film Festival, 2010
Born(1969-09-30)September 30, 1969
DiedMarch 11, 2013(2013-03-11) (aged 43)
NationalityMexican, American[citation needed]
Occupation(s)Actor, drag performer, entrepreneur
Years active1988–2013
Known forDrag performance, beauty pageant winner, stage and film performance

Early life and careerEdit

Erica Andrews was born on September 30, 1969, in Allende, Nuevo León, Mexico.[1][2][3][4]

She grew up on a small ranch called Los Aguirres in the rural outskirts of Allende, where there was little electricity.[5] She changed her name to Erica, a name she derived from a phonetic pronunciation of Eddie. She attached a colloquial ca to the end of Eddie so that it sounded like Eddieca and formed the name Erica.[6] Consequently, she became Erica Salazar.[7] Beginning around 1989–1990, she took on the stage name Erica Hutton.[5][8] She named herself after Lauren Hutton, whom she admired.[5] After she met Tandi Andrews, who became her drag mother and mentor,[1][5] she changed her stage name to Erica Hutton Andrews and subsequently to Erica Andrews.

Andrews was born into a family with two older brothers and a younger sister.[2][9] During her childhood, her father was sentenced to ten years in prison for a drug offense.[10] Andrews spent her childhood in Allende through the age of 8, when her mother and siblings crossed the border and settled in Laredo, Texas.[2] Though Andrews maintained a relationship with her mother and siblings, she became estranged from her father and never saw him again. Upon leaving home, Andrews attended college for two years, earning an associate degree. She attended cosmetology school and became a licensed cosmetologist. She began to work as a make-up artist and consultant at department store makeup counters for MAC Cosmetics and also for Glamour Shots.[2][4]

In an interview with Ambiente Magazine in 2005, Andrews recalled a difficult childhood. She described being referred to as a little girl instead of a little boy by a guest speaker at her elementary school and being laughed at by the students. She also remembered in high school returning home from a volleyball game and being taunted by two guys who threw her down, kicked dirt on her, and punched her a couple of times.[3] On the Tyra Banks Show as well as in an online radio interview with Richard Curtin, Andrews discussed a time when she was about 17 when she ran away from home and struggled because of the challenges she faced as a trans woman.[4][6] She began her estrogen hormone replacement therapy when she was 18. She had undergone silicone and electrolysis treatment. Andrews said she had never had any plastic surgery on her face or body.[10]


At 18, she was introduced to drag and female impersonation through her then boyfriend who was a female impersonator and drag pageant contestant.[2][4] In 1988, at 18, Andrews moved with him to San Antonio, Texas,[7] where she made a name for herself in the drag circuit.[11] Her first performance was at a club named Las Gueras to the song Break Away.[3] She began performing on amateur nights at the now defunct Paper Moon night club (later The Saint) on Main Avenue in San Antonio. Andrews won the Paper Moon talent of the week and talent of the month contests. This led to her participation in Paper Moon's Newcomer of the year contest in which she placed third.[11][12] At the encouragement and support of Raphael Ruiz de Velasco (owner of The Saint night club), Andrews entered the Miss San Antonio USA pageant.[11]

Beauty pageantsEdit

Andrews actively participated in beauty pageants. She was a celebrated multi-national and international titleholder. According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, she was considered "one of the most decorated queens on the pageant circuit".[12] She was called "the most beautiful drag queen in captivity".[13] The first pageant title that Andrews won was Miss Just Us (1989).[14] She was a promoter for the Miss Texas Continental franchise.[15]

Andrews won numerous pageant titles.[16] Her titles include:

Year Title Location Notes
1997 Miss Gay Texas USofA[17] Houston, Texas Event venue was Inergy Club (never known as Rich's Houston) presently not called Crystal Night Club.
1999 Miss Gay USofA[17] Dallas, Texas Event venue was Dallas Grand Hotel Ballroom.
2001 Miss Texas Continental[17] San Antonio, Texas Event venue was The Saint. (before Paper Moon)
2004 Miss Florida Continental[17] Miami, Florida Andrews also won the best gown and talent awards.
2004 Universal ShowQueen[17] Honolulu, Hawaii Event held on June 26, 2004, at the Pacific Ballroom of the Ilikai Hotel.
2004 Miss Continental[17] Chicago, Illinois Event sponsored by Baton Show Lounge and held at the Park West Theater. Andrews had competed for Miss Continental in 1998 (top 12) and in 2001 (5 Runner up).
2006 Miss International Queen[17] Pattaya City, Thailand The world's most prestigious and largest beauty pageant for international transgender women. Event held on October 29, 2006, at Tiffany's Show Theater, Pattaya City, Chonburi, Thailand. Andrews competed under the Mexican flag. She chose to compete for her country of origin/birth. She presented the Miss International Queen organization with her birth certificate and was allowed.
2006 Miss National Entertainer of the Year[17] Louisville, Kentucky Event venue was the Connection Complex.

Live performancesEdit

Andrews performed on the United States LGBT drag circuit.[1] Andrews performed at San Antonio nightclubs like The Saint, Heat, The Bonham, and The Pegasus.[1]

Andrews imitated Hollywood greats such as Joan Crawford, Cher, top Latin artist Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, and fictional characters like Jessica Rabbit[18] and Wonder Woman.[1][19] Her performances[1] included the Mommie Dearest boardroom scene which was accompanied by a Shirley Bassey mix to I (Who Have Nothing) as well as a depiction of Mary Katherine Gallagher, a fictional character who is a sardonic caricature of an unpopular teen Catholic school girl invented by Saturday Night Live cast member Molly Shannon and featured in Superstar.[20]

Drag FamilyEdit

Erica was the drag mother of Janet Andrews, Miss Gay Texas USofA 2018. She was also the drag mother of Roxxxy Andrews, a drag queen who has appeared on the popular reality television series RuPaul's Drag Race and RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars.


In 2010, Andrews was the first model for the Faces of Life photographic project that originated from Dallas, Texas. The project by Jorge Rivas was created to bring awareness to people who are HIV positive or have AIDS.[15]

Later life and deathEdit

In 2012, after making San Antonio her home base for many years, Andrews moved to Indiana, to be with her boyfriend.[15]

Andrews died from complications as a result of a lung infection on March 11, 2013, at UIC hospital in Chicago, Illinois.[15]



Year Title Episode Role Notes
2001 The Maury Povich Show Sexy, Hot Ladies...Or Are They?[17] Herself Episode aired on January 30, 2001.
? The Maury Povich Show Male Or Female![17] Herself
2006 Trantasia[17] Herself Documentary based on The World's Most Beautiful Transsexual Contest.
2007 The Tyra Banks Show[17] Trantasia Herself Season 3, episode 56. Episode aired on Tuesday, November 27, 2007.<

Stage productionsEdit

In 2002, Andrews' first stage performance was in Jotos del Barrio, a play written by Jesus Alonzo that explored the lives of young gay Latinos. The play was presented as a series of poems, monologues, and vignettes. She played a transgender character, Janie la Transie. In an interview with the San Antonio Current, Andrews spoke of her ability to relate to the character. She also played an additional role as the biological mother of a young gay male.[7]

In 2004, Andrews played the lead role of The Succubus, a vampire lesbian, in Charles Busch's off-Broadway satirical play Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, produced by the Actors Theatre of San Antonio group.[11]

In 2009, Andrews performed in Jesus Alonzo's play Miss America: A Mexicanito's Fairy Tale at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center in San Antonio.[21] The play was about a nine-year-old boy, Chuy, who dreamed of becoming Miss America. Andrews portrayed Chuy's fairy godmother.[12]

Year Title Role Playwright Location Notes
2002 Jotos del Barrio[7] Janie la Transie
Biological mother to young gay male
Jesus Alonzo Jump-Start Theater, San Antonio, Texas Andrews played dual roles in the production. Andrews participated in the Jotos del Barrio one-night only encore performance at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, San Antonio, Texas, on May 10, 2002. Listed as Erica Salazar on production credits.
2009 Miss America: A Mexicanito's Fairy Tale[21] Fairy godmother Jesus Alonzo Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, San Antonio, Texas


Andrews appeared three times on Maury (the Maury Povich Show)[11] and on The Tyra Banks Show.[6] She was also a make-up artist on the Maury Povich show in New York City.[21] In 2007, Andrews did a cameo in Jennifer Lopez's music video, Do It Well from her Brave album, but does not appear in the final edition; And had a cameo as a street walker on Maroon 5's music video (at the 2:09 mark) Won't Go Home Without You from It Won't Be Soon Before Long album. In 2011, she appeared as the love interest in Deborah Vial's music video for the single Don't Make Me Take It from her debut album, Stages and Stones.[22]

Andrews' screen appearances included the United Kingdom-produced documentary Trantasia (2008) which chronicled Andrews' participation in The World's Most Beautiful Transsexual Contest in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2010, she starred in a supporting role in the revenge-horror-exploitation film Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives.[17][23]

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives[17] Emma Grashun

Music videoEdit

Year Artist Album Title Role Notes
2011 Deborah Vial Stages and Stones Don't Make Me Take It As Deborah Vial's love interest[22] Andrews debuts at the 0:42 time marker of the video.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Ledezma, Julian (March 20, 2013). "Erica Andrews, SA's brightest LGBT star is gone". San Antonio Current. Archived from the original on March 22, 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e Baines, Jenettha (November 30, 2010). 100 of the Most Influential Gay Entertainers. Kernersville, North Carolina: A-Argus Better Book Publishers, LLC. p. 81. ISBN 978-0984619559. Archived from the original on April 14, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Fernandez, David (February 2005). "An Interview with the lovely Erica Andrews". Ambiente. San Antonio, Texas. Archived from the original on 2013-09-06. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  4. ^ a b c d "Just Keep Breathing: Richard Curtin Interviews Erica Andrews". Rational Broadcasting. Dallas, Texas. October 23, 2012. Archived from the original on September 6, 2013. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d Taylor, Bob (March 21, 2002). "Interview With Erica Andrews". New York City, New York. Archived from the original on September 6, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Erica Andrews on The Tyra Banks Show". YouTube. 2009. Archived from the original on 2015-03-03. Retrieved 2015-06-14.
  7. ^ a b c d Kimura, Wendi (March 21, 2002). "Straight on Queers". San Antonio Current. Archived from the original on September 6, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
  8. ^ Beltran, Jacob (March 13, 2013). "Female illusionist a star who paved way for others". San Antonio Express-News. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
  9. ^ "Obituary: Erica Salizar". San Antonio Express News. March 24, 2013. Archived from the original on September 6, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
  10. ^ a b Stanford, Jeremy (Director) (2007). Trantasia (Television production). ASIN B000V3IXBO.
  11. ^ a b c d e "The Club Luxor Promo on Erica Andrews". Club Luxor. Lubbock, Texas. Archived from the original on 2013-03-23. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
  12. ^ a b c "San Antonio drag icon Erica Andrews dies". Q San Antonio. March 12, 2013. Archived from the original on March 28, 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  13. ^ "Performer Erica Andrews passes away". Chicago Pride. March 12, 2013. Archived from the original on March 15, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  14. ^ "DragShowcase Interviews Erica Andrews". DragShowcase. September 30, 2008. Archived from the original on September 16, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
  15. ^ a b c d Jones, Arnold Wayne (March 12, 2013). "Dallas drag diva Erica Andrews dies". Dallas Voice. Archived from the original on March 15, 2013. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
  16. ^ "Erica Andrews dies". Windy City Times. Chicago, Illinois. March 11, 2013. Archived from the original on March 15, 2013. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Guerra, Joey (March 12, 2013). "Drag icon Erica Andrews passes away". The Houston Chronicle blog. Houston, Texas. Archived from the original on March 14, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  18. ^ "Erica Andrews as Jessica Rabbit". YouTube. 2006. Archived from the original on 2015-12-19. Retrieved 2015-06-14.
  19. ^ Richardson, Niall (2010). Transgressive Bodies: Representations in Film and Popular Culture. Farnham, Surrey / Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Limited. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-7546-7622-5.
  20. ^ "Erica Andrews". Queer Magnet. San Antonio, Texas. Archived from the original on 2013-09-06. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
  21. ^ a b c Rindfuss, Bryan (June 9, 2010). "The house that Tandi built". San Antonio Current. Archived from the original on September 6, 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  22. ^ a b Andreoli, Rick (December 7, 2011). "Singer-Songwriter Deborah Vial - A Woman You Need To Know". Dallas, Texas. Archived from the original on April 24, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  23. ^ Lindsey, Steven (March 26, 2010). "Dallas filmmaker Israel Luna premiering new film in New York to much controversy". Dallas Voice. Archived from the original on April 25, 2010.

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by Miss International Queen
Succeeded by
 Tanyarat Jirapatpakon