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Steele Died of Accidental Drug Intoxication
by Andrew Davis
2008-02-27

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Las Vegas transgender legend Jahna Steele died of accidental drug intoxication on Jan. 22, the Clark County, Nev., Coroner's Office told Windy City Times.

Coroner spokeswoman Samantha Charles said that Steele's manner of death was 'accidental,' and that the cause of death was 'mixed drug intoxication of cocaine, morphine and hydromorphone.' Hydromorphone is a derivative of morphine.

Steele, 49, was born John Matheny in San Antonio, Texas, and lived in Nevada for a quarter-century. Matheny grew up in San Antonio before undergoing sexual-reassignment surgery in his early 20s. Steele was an accomplished actress and headline entertainer in Las Vegas. She was a member of the 'Crazy Girls' topless revue at the Riviera before being outed in 1992 by the TV show A Current Affair.

Steele's last job on the Las Vegas strip was reported to be as a warm-up announcer for 'La Cage,' the female impersonator show at the Riviera. Steele was also featured in the 2006 movie Transtasia, a documentary about the 'World's First Most Beautiful Transsexual Pageant.' Transtasia has since aired on Showtime.


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