To your family and friends, you are always the greatest thing since sliced bread. My family and friends have always made me feel special, talented, and important. They applaud my accomplishments and are always impressed with every role I step into, no matter how big or small. There have been times along the way when I felt like giving up, but they were always there to tell me I was good. They told me that what I was writing was important and that the story I had inside of me was one that people needed to hear. There are so many people I have either not mentioned or devoted a chapter to in this book who I would like to thank now for making such an important contribution to my life and to the evolution of this memoir:
Ricky, Georgette, Danielle, and Lovelean: Thanks to each of you goes without saying. You believed I was a star before I believed it.
Sara Henry: From Squaw Valley Writers. Thanks for the “nuts and bolts” of writing. Thanks for being a listening ear with a red pencil.
Stephen Bond: Our story cannot be put into words. Thanks for proofreading Dreamboy. Your attention to detail always amazes me. You have always been my silent supporter. From the day you walked into my store in 1994 and took over as manager, you have been the most loyal friend anyone has ever had.
Reggie Van Lee: Nobody anywhere does anything without thanking you. You have helped more people and have touched more lives than anyone I have ever known. I can’t wait to read your story one day. It will be the “who’s who” of all books.
Tony Muhammad: Sometimes people come into your life and you just know they were meant to be there. I stopped questioning why and just thank you for being my “bodyguard.” It has been my honor to emcee your Motown & Soul Shows. You allowed me to be a part of a musical review that is the essence of my being. I love you for accepting me as me.
Michelle Webley: To my first agent in Hollywood, from your last client before you quit the business. Thank you for being my friend and loving leopard as much as I do.
Douglas Phillips: Sistah! What can I say? You and I don’t use words to express how we feel. We just know.
Garth David: When God gave me you as my spiritual brother, I cried tears of joy.
Tyrone “Revlon” Pearsall: My “gay” son and the president of my east coast fan club. Stop being a chicken and get on a plane and come visit me!
Breeze Vincinz: My webpage designer and president of my west coast fan club. You and Soulful Salon fed me with creative fuel.
Brian A. Miller: Thank you for the things you taught me about graphics, art, and marketing while I was at Paramount.
Pam: I always told you that when I became famous I would remember you for all the free mailings you did for me as a struggling actor. I just can’t remember your last name.
Jimmie Ware: Thank you for always keeping our friendship alive, no matter where we are.
Jimmie MacFatherlorn: “Mother,” your little girl is all grown up. Thanks for not telling Garth and Doug that I was the prettiest of your daughters. You know how jealous they can be.
Dr. Robert James Smith, Jr.: For all those years and all those laughs and peanut butter. Once I sell this book, I will finally be able to pay you back that rent.
Carolyn Walker: Remember when we met Helen Hayes? All the days we spent as extras on too many movie sets and you never stopped dreaming or believing. I am so glad you have found love. You deserve it.
Solomon Irwin Royster: Your energy is infectious and I have loved you as a friend from the very first moment I met you.
John Barille: My “white husband.” You provided me with a floor to sleep on when I moved to Los Angeles and fed me when I was hungry. You sat through more performances of FREEda Slave than any person should in a lifetime.
Karen Wright: You have always looked out for me and I will never forget that. We have to get another tattoo together again.
Wendy Metz: My “Jewish Mother” worries and frets over me and gives me the best hand me down clothes. You are this wonderful conduit that people go through before they achieve success.
Ola and Kola Lawal: My Godchildren. You have made me such a proud uncle and I want to thank you for keeping the legacy alive.
Carlos Batts: Thank you for all the wonderful L.A. photos you have done for me over the years.
Glenwood Jackson: Thank you for all the wonderful Baltimore photos you have done for me over the years.
Joe Breaux: Thanks for editing my DREAMBOY DVD and believing in the dream.
Sean Garcia: I can never say thank you enough for every extra you add. For your sense of detail and your amazing, unselfish commitment to everything you do. The graphics, the designs, every time my computer got a virus, even my car issues…so much I cannot begin to describe.
Dwayne Alexander: You believed in DREAMBOY from the very beginning and have always been my ear to listen, an eye to watch, and a voice to share criticism.
Clarence Reynolds: Thanks for filling in the missing holes with the names I couldn’t remember. Your timing was perfect, moving to Los Angeles when you did. Thanks for reminding me there is a God.
Donald Strauss: Timelines, so important.
Linda Yost-Brown: Thanks for keeping the numbers together and the IRS off my back.
Kelly Dobbs-Bunting: Thank you for always having my back in matters of love, legality, and correct language. I save all my Bunting family Christmas cards to remind me that you are really a mom!
Malik Shakur: The champion of my book. Thanks for making it happen. Manager, advisor, lawyer, and friend.
Sunny N. Fuller: Who would have thought, as I watched you walk across the stage to graduate from AFI, that years later you would honor me by editing my book. Thank you for taking this “labor of love” called DREAMBOY and editing my collection of greatest hits.
“I always thought I was a star even in the background; not for one minute did I feel bad about it. ‘Cause I knew I was giving as much energy and as much love in my “oooos” as Diane was giving with her words. And I was giving ‘em for real. See, everybody can’t be Diana Ross. I don’t want to be Diana Ross. I like Mary Wilson. And I know there are a lot of Mary Wilsons out there.”
November 28, 1986