Dori Hartley

Biography by

For those who have not traveled in fringe circles, Dori Hartley was the original Frank-N-Furter impersonator during the crowd participation portion of the midnight screenings of Rocky Horror Picture Show…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

For those who have not traveled in fringe circles, Dori Hartley was the original Frank-N-Furter impersonator during the crowd participation portion of the midnight screenings of Rocky Horror Picture Show at New York City's Waverly Theater. Originating the role as a teenager in 1977, she gamely dressed in Frank drag at nearly every showing over the next six years alongside her fellow eccentric Rocky Horror stand-ins, who soon earned national recognition as the 8th Street cast, which in turn gained a cult following of its own among devotees of the camp film. Hartley even managed a friendship with her alter ego himself, Tim Curry, and appeared briefly in the video to "Paradise Garage" from his 1979 A&M LP Fearless. She finally cast off her makeup, garter, and fishnet stockings for good, "retiring" from the Waverly performances in 1983. At first she followed up on her surprise success by trying a hand at legitimate stage work, but it was in New York's alternative music scene that she eventually found a foothold. With songwriting partner Pete Min, she founded the dream pop band Blue Djinn ("djinn" being an Arabic term that means "a being that makes dreams come true," or simply "genie") in the mid-'90s. The group released its debut recording, under Hartley's name, in 1996 on Tuxedo Records. The album earned generally favorable reviews and significant radio airplay across the country, leading to a small national tour for the band. Its commercial success, however, was limited. One of Blue Djinn's songs, "Nobody Loves Me But You," did earn a second life when featured in the tenth episode ("A Hit Is a Hit") of HBO's breakout television series The Sopranos.