Similarly, with her passion for cream, butter and offal, cooking Head Girl Nigella Lawson remains a  posher, more stylish Fanny for the Noughties and on.

She started presenting her BBC cooking series in the 1950s and by the time I was watching it in the mid-1970s and in repeats thereafter, Fanny had perfected her presentation skills. In 1969, he was named the Variety Club of Great Britain's Showbusiness Personality of the Year. On the small screen, as well as appearing in television specials and regularly in The Good Old Days, La Rue starred as Lord Fancourt Babberley in an original production of Charley’s Aunt (1969) and in the title role of Queen of Hearts (1973), with Alan Haynes playing the Queen Mother. (Imagining Fanny’s reaction to this year’s appallingly condescending ASDA television advert — all mum lives for is to serve others, and she’s completely fine with not even having a chair to sit on at the Christmas dinner table so balances on a little pouffe — makes me laugh out loud. In 2006, he suffered a mild stroke but returned to the stage within months. 'active' : ''"> The late, lamented Jennifer Paterson, one half of the Two Fat Ladies, was a Fanny Cradock for the 1990s with her huge rings, nail varnish, hair bows and healthy disdain for the food police.

John Gielgud, whose Ensa company was on a Far East tour, told him: “I don’t like men who dress up as women, but you make me laugh.”. real-world solutions, and more. He invested his money in bespoke, glamorous stage costumes and wigs, as well as in employing his own writers. He also performed with a concert party, making his debut in a spoof of the play White Cargo, acting an African girl wearing a bed sheet as a sarong. A lot.). try again, the name must be unique, Please

Daniel Patrick Carroll (Danny La Rue), actor and female impersonator, born 26 July 1927, died 31 May 2009, Finishing touches: Rue in his dressing room, 1970, With, from left to right, US entertainer Carol Channing, Shirley Bassey and Barbara Windsor, ‘Comic in a frock’: Rue preferred to send up drag rather than play it straight. La Rue’s costumes became more and more lavish, and the club ran for eight years, attracting international celebrities and royalty. He was 18 months old when his father died of tuberculosis, leaving his mother to bring up three daughters and two sons alone. continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. La Rue’s club finally closed in 1972, when it was sold to property developers, but the performer took his show out of London to northern clubs and then to Canada, Australia and New Zealand. She mostly encouraged viewers to do their best, whilst garnishing, piping, embellishing and assembling things, all with the aid of her distinctly less-glamorous assistant, the mute Sarah. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. He also remained popular in pantomime. He always insisted that he was not a transvestite– a man wanting to be a woman – explaining: "I never think of myself as a man or a woman when I'm in drag. In 1937, the Carroll family moved to London and the young Danny's love of theatre grew as he watched acts such as Arthur Lucan in the guise of Mother Riley. On being demobbed, Carroll returned to Huttons but continued performing on stage by joining the Exeter Dramatic Group, at the city's Theatre Royal. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Start your Independent Premium subscription today. In fact, my dad sat next to Danny La Rue at Midnight Mass once and said he’d never have known he wasn’t a woman if he hadn’t known who he was. Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. He then became one of a chorus of men dressed as women in a touring all-male revue, Forces Showboat (1949-50), which starred Terry Bartlett and Colin Ross as female impersonators. "You are also long and lean, like a lovely French street. Independent Premium. Danny La Rue was the leading female impersonator of Fanny’s day, and his schtick was to look like a real woman, not a panto woman. As a result, in 1954, he was booked to appear in cabaret at the fashionable Churchill's nightclub in Bond Street, where he stayed for three years. Switching to Huttons’ London store, he was invited to join a drama group attached to the Young Women’s Christian Association, which was short of male performers. Carroll's first professional pantomime appearance was in Aladdin (Chatham Empire, 1953), joining the chorus line of men in drag alongside women. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post

In 1964, after failing to get the business partnership he wanted in Winston’s, the performer opened his own venue, Danny La Rue’s, in Hanover Square, where his cabaret revue company included the comedian Ronnie Corbett, who had performed at Winston’s.

Danny La Rue was first seen in Gatty's revue Men Only, in which he was given the chance to step out of the chorus line and project his personality.

Enter your email to follow new comments on this article. Get your best entertainment and arts news here, “Sherry in trifle is horrid! His first experience of theatre, at the age of five, was watching the Irish comedian Jimmy O’Dea as the dame in the pantomime Mother Goose at Cork Opera House. 'active' : ''"> One thing I’ve been wondering as I watch Fanny Cradock Cooks for Christmas is which came first: Fanny’s drag queen makeup, or drag queens’ Fanny makeup (as ’twere)? However, after becoming disillusioned with all-male revues, he gave up performing and returned to Huttons. "But it was never smutty, or dirty, or snide. On the small screen, as well as appearing in television specials and regularly in The Good Old Days, La Rue starred as Lord Fancourt Babberley in an original production of Charley's Aunt ("Play for Today", 1969) and in the title role of Queen of Hearts (1973), with Alan Haynes playing the Queen Mother.

However, unlike Jennifer Paterson, Fanny Cradock did not die a beloved television personality. He also recorded his signature tune, "On Mother Kelly's Doorstep", for release as a single (1968), which reached No 33 in the charts. (as Dolly Levi, Prince of Wales Theatre, 1984). The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. He also recorded his signature tune, “On Mother Kelly’s Doorstep”, for release as a single (1968), which reached No 33 in the charts. In the same vein, what did panto dames look like pre-Fanny Cradock? Newest first, -1) ? Danny La Rue was first seen in Gatty's revue Men Only, in which he was given the chance to step out of the chorus line and project his personality. La Rue's costumes became more and more lavish, and the club ran for eight years, attracting international celebrities and royalty. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. At the same time, La Rue’s stage career expanded into the West End with the musical comedy Come Spy With Me (Whitehall Theatre, 1966-7), Queen Passionella and Sleeping Beauty (Saville Theatre, 1969), the long-running Danny La Rue at the Palace (watched by 1,200,000 people at the Palace Theatre, 1970-72), The Danny La Rue Show (Prince of Wales Theatre, 1973-75), The Exciting Adventures of Queen Daniella (London Casino, 1975-76, and Coventry Theatre, 1976-77), Aladdin (London Palladium, 1978-9) and a critically mauled, shortlived revival of Hello, Dolly! World War II and rationing were not distant memories for Fanny’s audience, nor were the days before labour-saving home appliances like washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Switching to Huttons' London store, he was invited to join a drama group attached to the Young Women's Christian Association, which was short of male performers. He always insisted that he was not a transvestite, explaining: “I never think of myself as a man or a woman when I’m in drag. When Danny La Rue started his career as a female impersonator, drag acts were an area of show business traditionally regarded as seedy and suspect, but he successfully elevated his performance to an art form. try again, the name must be unique, Show{{#moreThan3_total}} {{value_total}} {{/moreThan3_total}} comments, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful In December 1956, La Rue teamed up with Alan Haynes to form a long-running Ugly Sisters partnership in pantomime and, within a couple of months, switched his own act to Winston’s nightclub. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! However, after becoming disillusioned with all-male revues, he gave up performing and returned to Huttons. Then came the Second World War and, after their home was wiped out in the Blitz, the family moved to the Devon countryside outside Exeter. I’m sure there’s a PhD thesis or at least a journal article in there somewhere. The transformation of something seen as coarse and vulgar was achieved by adding an element of sophistication and glittering spectacle, with La Rue dressing in the most expensive and elegant costumes, and sending drag up rather than playing it straight.

Are you sure you want to submit this vote? La Rue lived for many years with his manager, Jack Hanson, who died in 1979. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. While piping rosettes of cream onto a trifle — “they’re frightfully important” — Fanny would dispense sage advice for anyone looking to one-up the Joneses.

La Rue was born Daniel Patrick Carroll in the Irish city of Cork in 1927, the son of an interior decorator and a former nurse. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium.

Yum! Oldest first, -1) ? He followed this with appearances in similar shows featuring ex-servicemen – Forces in Petticoats, Soldiers in Skirts and Misleading Ladies. In Singapore, he took part in regular shows staged for the Army and RAF. The transformation of something seen as coarse and vulgar was achieved by adding an element of sophistication and glittering spectacle, with La Rue dressing in the most expensive and elegant costumes, and sending drag up rather than playing it straight. try again, the name must be unique, Please The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to The most insightful comments on all subjects “You look wonderful in costume and you remind me of Paris, like the Follies,” he told Carroll.

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