Lady Baronessa

Lady Baronessa

Lady Baronessa, also known as The Lady Baroness Maria Andrea del Santiago, was the illusion of Carmel Santiago who was an entertainer originally from Puerto Rico and was later based in Chicago, Illinois.  Following his crowning as Miss Gay America in 1974, Lady Baronessa stayed very involved with the system.   1n 1990, he was featured on the “Sally Jessy Raphael Show” where he continued to promote Miss Gay America.  Lady Baronessa was very well respected and loved in the gay community and her passing in 1992 left a void in the entertainment industry.

Titles and Awards

Miss Gay America 1974
(Glass Menagerie – Nashville, Tennessee)

Miss Gay Illinois America 1973
Prelim to Miss Gay America

Lady Baroness and Friends

  1. Baronessa and I first met during an extended review at COAD disco in Jackson, MS. during the mid to late 1970’s after I graduated from the most conservative university in the State and had moved away. My admiration for her was ongoing. What I admired most was perhaps that she never stepped out of character during her performances. She was professional and friendly to me. This was classic entertainment which I hold dear. During my 28 years in New Orleans, she remained the image in my psyche to which all others performers were held. To say more would sound insincere.

  2. I met Lady Baronessa in Daytona Beach at the Hollywood Bar. We became fast friends since we were both from the Caribbean–she from Puerto Rico, I from Panama. She was the consumate professional and was a very dear, dear friend. I will remember her forever and cherish her friendship. I have an immense void in my life without her.

  3. LADY BARONESSA was an amazing person, her charismatic personality and festive mood
    brought great joy to my life while living in Hot Springs Arkansas in 1980.
    She was a great Hostess at the OUR HOUSE club and I have many fond, special memories
    of her. REST IN PEACE

  4. I first me the Baronessa in Lt Rock in the early 80’s. She was one of the kindest most sincere people I have ever had the privilege to meet in my life. Then to now.
    Her elegance and poise were impeccable. When she walked into a room she did so with grace and poise. You gave her your full attention without wavering. She commanded it just by her nature.
    She was taken from us far too soon. But I know she left us knowing she was and is loved my many. That she made and impression that will be forever lasting in the hearts and souls of many a young person. She was both guide and mentor.
    And I am a better person for having been blessed to have had her share her goodness with me. No matter how short the time.

  5. Lady Baronessa was a friend of mine in 1970-71 when I was living in Chicago. His real name was Carlos Santiago, he had a very bubbling disposition, loved discos, and he was as stunning as a boy as he was as a girl. Carlos was very graceful, had a magnificent complexion, and an infectious smile. It was impossible not to like him. His portrayal of Diana Ross was flawless. He was one of the finest drag artists who ever lived. — Martin St.John, Editor, G&L Times of the Desert.

  6. I met Lady Baronessa (Bari) around 1985 in Birmingham Alabama…She was the show director at a nightclub called “Fantasies”…She was one of the most enjoyable and professional entertainers I have ever seen…We became very good friends and remained so until her passing…She is truly missed…….

  7. I knew Lady Baronessa ,Bari, in Hot Springs,where my mother was a costumer to the local talent. My relationship with Lady B. deepened into a treasured friendship and she was my son’s godmother. So much respect,love and simple awe in my heart. I miss you,Lady, say hello to Mama Lamb in Heaven,will you ??.