Danny La Rue dies aged 81

Entertainer Danny La Rue has died after a short illness, his spokeswoman said today. He was 81.

The legendary female impersonator had been suffering from cancer.

His spokeswoman said: "Danny died peacefully in his sleep just before midnight last night after a short illness.

"His beloved companion Annie Galbraith was with him at their home in Kent."



La Rue enjoyed a glittering career for some 60 years and was once described by Noel Coward as: "The most professional, the most witty... and the most utterly charming man in the business."

Bob Hope is also said to have called him: "The most glamorous woman in the world."

La Rue was born Daniel Patrick Carroll in Cork, Ireland, the youngest in a family of five.

Aged nine, he was brought to England where the family settled initially in London.

He was evacuated to Devon during the Blitz and worked in a store in Exeter after leaving school aged 15.

The star worked in cabaret alongside Barbara Windsor when first starting out.

He opened his own nightclub in Hanover Square in 1964, attracting well over 13,000 members.

On the West End stage he triumphed in seven major shows including Come Spy With Me at the Whitehall Theatre, The Danny La Rue Show at the Prince of Wales theatre, and Aladdin at the London Palladium.

He has undertaken 53 pantomimes at major venues all over the country.

His national tour with his Danny La Rue Show was a box office success and he was a particular hit in Australia, where he would spend half his working year entertaining in television as well as theatre and cabaret seasons.

La Rue was awarded an OBE in recognition of his work for charity and theatre.

In early 2006 he suffered a mild stroke and planned UK performances were cancelled.

He recently appeared in Hello Danny - a biographical show performed at Benidorm Palace, Spain, in 2007.







Brian Shaw, who worked as La Rue's agent for more than 25 years, described him as "a true showbusiness legend".

He said: "He was a man of real class and real style. It's just a very sad day.

"He was an absolutely sensational guy. He did over 1,000 live theatre shows in the UK for me."

Mr Shaw said that news of La Rue's death came as an "enormous shock".

The agent, who represented La Rue from the 1970s to the 1990s, said: "I think he knew absolutely everyone.

"Everyone certainly knew who Danny La Rue was."

Mr Shaw said La Rue was a one-off, and continued: "He had no one before him and there was no one since."







PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?