May 25 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Film will reveal “complex web of relationships” of drag queen
The tangled love life of drag queen Danny La Rue, who died at his Kent home, is set to be made in to a major movie for the big screen.
La Rue was 81 when he passed away peacefully in his sleep in 2009 at the home he had retired to in Tunbridge Wells. He’d been suffering from prostate cancer.
He will forever be known as the man who brought to the masses the once-taboo artistry of dressing as a woman for the sake of entertainment.
Dating back to Shakespearean times when the female roles were played by men, it took Danny La Rue to bring drag to a mass modern day audience.
Born Daniel Patrick Carroll, he became a huge mainstream star, and took his flamboyant act to the Royal Variety Performance where the drag queen took centre stage in front of the real Queen. He went on to do around 30 shows for the Royals and he became an OBE in 2002.
But his private life was just as colourful and will be laid bare in a new bio-pic from Leopardrama, a company behind Missing, which was set in a Dover missing persons unit and starred Pauline Quirke.
It is being funded by the British Film Foundation with a screenplay from Martyn Hesford, who created Fantabulosa, about Carry On actor Kenneth Williams.
The La Rue film examines his “complex web of relationships” with his manager and partner Jack Hanson, who died from a stroke in 1974, and also close companion and costume designer Annie Galbraith, who was with him when he died.
In early 2006, La Rue also suffered a mild stroke and all planned UK performances for were cancelled.
Bob Hope said he was “the most glamorous woman in the world” and Noel Coward, who lived at St Margaret’s Bay, said he was: “The most professional, the most witty... and the most utterly charming man in the business.”
After performing in a woman’s wig during a World War Two concert show, his breakthrough was appearing at Winston’s Club alongside Barbara Windsor.
He later opened his own London nightclub in 1964, attracting celebrities such as Judy Garland, Warren Beatty, Shirley MacLean, Dorothy Squires, Shirley Bassey, Noel Coward, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Elizabeth Taylor, and of course Royalty, including Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon.
Executive producer for Leopardrama Joey Attawia said: “Danny was a ground-breaking entertainer and a vital part of contemporary British popular history, which until now has been overlooked.
“He had a huge cultural and social impact in making the unacceptable acceptable and blazed the trail for the likes of David Bowie and Boy George.
“He is an important figure who broke the mould and we’re thrilled to have signed agreements with Annie Galbraith and other key intimates of Danny to bring this funny, moving and complex story to life.”
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