|Add a Photo|
November 17, 1957
|Died||May 13, 1996 (aged 38)|
|Cause of death||Smoke inhalation|
|Resting place||H.M Patterson & Son Spring Hill Chapel|
|Other names||Amber Marie Williams|
|Citizenship||United States of America|
|Alma mater||Marion High School|
Amber Marie Williams (November 17, 1957 - May 13, 1996), better known by her stage name Amber Richards was an American transgender female impersonator, model, and television personality. Amber began her career in the late 1970's and was active in drag pageantry, competing in local and national pageants including Miss Gay America, Miss Continental, Miss Florida FI, Miss Gay USofA, and Miss National. Amber was crowned Miss Florida FI in 1985 and Miss Continental in 1991.
Early life and career
Amber was born Richard "Rick" Atkinson in Marion, Indiana on November 17, 1957 and graduated from Marion High School in 1976. After graduation, Amber began her performance career at the Famous Door nightclub in Indianapolis, Indiana. Amber also performed at another Indianapolis bar named The Hunt & Chase which was the location of the Miss Gay America pageant from 1979-1982. Early in her career Amber became well known for her exotic beauty and high energy stage performances. Amber competed in the very first Miss Gay Indiana America pageant and was crowned Miss Gay Indiana Emeritus in 1979.
Amber moved to Atlanta, Georgia in the 1980's and was a mainstay of Atlanta nightlife performing at Backstreet Atlanta and The Other Side Lounge where she served as Show Director. Amber served as an official emcee for the Atlanta Pride Celebration in 1994 and '95. Amber made numerous television appearances on The Jenny Jones Show, The Jerry Springer Show, and the Japanese game show "Show by Show." Amber appeared on a 1995 episode of The Jerry Springer Show entitled "My Girlfriend Is A Man" and an episode the following year filmed in Daytona Beach during Spring Break 1996 entitled "Men Living as Women."
Amber's funeral was held on Friday May 17, 1996 at the H.M Patterson & Son Spring Hill Chapel located at 1020 Spring St NW in Midtown Atlanta. A wake service was held at the Revolutions bar in Ansley Square on Piedmont Avenue Amber was honored at the 1996 Atlanta Pride Celebration with a special memorial tribute on June 30, 1996 in Piedmont Park.
In the media
- "Undetected fire kills 2 in Smyrna". The Atlanta Journal Constitution. May 15, 1996. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
- Smith, Dennis (May 15, 1996). "Elusive blaze kills two, Couple found 36 hours after home damaged". Marietta Daily Journal. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
- "Amber Marie Williams Richards (1957-1996) - Find..." www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 2020-10-12.
- Baines, Jenettha J. (2010). 100 of the Most Influential Gay Entertainers. a-argus books. ISBN 978-0-9846195-5-9.
- "Miss Florida F.I." Our Community Roots. 2019-06-18. Retrieved 2020-10-12.
- "Continental Pageantry on Instagram: "#CountdownToTheCrown Counting down to the 40th Miss Continental • Featuring Miss Continental 1991 • Amber Richards • in her stepdown…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2020-10-12.
- "U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012"; School Name: Marion High School; Year: 1976
- "Miss and Mr. Gay Indiana". www.missgayindiana.com. Retrieved 2020-10-12.
- Eldredge, Richard L. (2020-10-09). "Backstreet: An oral history of Atlanta's most fabled 24-hour nightclub". Atlanta Magazine. Retrieved 2020-10-12.
- "Creating Community: A History of Early Transgender Support in Atlanta (2015)| Dallas Denny: Body of Work". Retrieved 2020-10-12.
- "Richards-Williams, obituary". The Atlanta Constitution. May 16, 1996.
- Amber Richards! | Women, Trans woman, Black and white
- Trans Women & Drag Performers! - Pinterest
- Creating Community: A History of Early Transgender Support in Atlanta (2015)
- Atlanta-Savannah Timeline ... - A Gender Variance Who's Who
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