Private funeral for Danny La Rue

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The Independent Online

The funeral of female impersonator Danny La Rue, described as a "true showbusiness legend", has taken place.

La Rue, whose career spanned some 60 years, died peacefully in his sleep just before midnight on May 31, after a short illness, his spokeswoman said previously.

The star of stage and screen, once described by Bob Hope as: "The most glamorous woman in the world," had been battling cancer and was 81 when he died.

Close friend Barbara Windsor, who has known La Rue since she was 18, said her last goodbye to the entertainer when she saw him three weeks before his death.

The EastEnders actress said previously that she was "devastated".

She told how La Rue was protective of women, once jumping off stage "in full drag" and punching a man after a rude comment was yelled from the audience at Windsor during a show.

Noel Coward is said to have once described La Rue as "the most utterly charming man in the business".

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

Aged nine, he was brought to England and he worked in a store in Exeter after leaving school aged 15.

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