Born 1 of 5 children as Daniel Carroll, La Rue's family lived in Horgan's Buildings, Magazine Road, Cork City Ireland. He served in the Royal Navy as a young man following his father's steps, but he became famous as a female impersonator (or "comic in a frock" as he preferred to be called) in England and was featured in theatre productions, and in film, television, and records.
Among his impersonations were celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Marlene Dietrich, and Margaret Thatcher. At one point he had his own nightclub in Hanover Square, and also performed on London's West End. In the 1960s he was among England's highest-paid entertainers.
For most of his career, La Rue implied that beneath his costume he was a heterosexual man. Unlike many drag performers, he would always perform parts of his show in men's clothes, and was often seen out of costume on television. More recently, he has been more candid about his private life and the fact that he is gay. La Rue lived for many years with his partner and manager, Jack Hanson, until his death in Australia following a stroke.
Most recently, he suffered a mild stroke and all planned UK performances for 2006 were cancelled.
La Rue most recently appeared in "Hello Danny" a biographical show performed at Benidorm Palace, Spain on 11 November 2007. The part of La Rue was played by Jerry Lane, and La Rue appeared at the top of the show and then appeared in an interview on stage in the second half. He also performed a number of songs, accompanied by Dave Peterson to the sellout crowd. Also staring in the show were Barry Britten, Asa Elliott, Liam Stewart, Dene Michael, Nikki Miller, Wendy Manfield, Jenny Renn, helping to portray La Rue's early life and recreate songs that he had performed in past shows.
La Rue intends to tour with Jerry lane in "Hello Danny" in the U.K 2008/2009.
He used to own the Swan at Streatley hotel in the 1970s.
FROM DRAGS TO RICHES; and the Tragedy of How Danny la Rue -- the Man Who Made Drag Respectable -- Then Lost Everything and Died Destitute
Jun 02, 2009; Byline: by Glenys Roberts AT THE height of his fame the legendary female impersonator Danny La Rue, who died on Sunday, aged 81,...