It's of Danny La Rue, one of the most successful drag queens of all time:
Beneath huge headdresses and decked out in sequin-studded gowns, La Rue in his heyday would don specially-designed creations of beaded pink lace and tulle with trains of ostrich feathers up to 20ft long. Thus glorified, he became one of the best-loved professional cross-dressers of his time.
But throughout his career, La Rue took every opportunity of stressing that he was nothing more than a “fella in a frock”. Despite admitting that dressing as Shirley Bassey or Dorothy Squires “wasn’t natural really”, La Rue was at pains to point out that he never did anything “tasteless, never anything offensive”. This view was perhaps not shared by Princess Margaret who, on a backstage visit to the number one dressing room, knocked on the door only to have a stark naked La Rue throw it open and shout “Piss off!”
“I was mortified,” La Rue later recalled, “I thought she was Peter Sellers messing about.”
He was also a Catholic and committed to another man for 40 years:
His feelings were demonstrated in 1985 when Jack Hanson, who had been La Rue’s companion for almost 40 years, died. Danny La Rue later revealed that he “was hysterical with grief”: “It took me over a year to reassess my life.”
RIP Daniel Patrick Carroll.
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