Danny La Rue ill

Drag queen comic, 78, suffers stroke

Danny La Rue has suffered a stroke and cancelled all his future work.

The 78-year-old drag queen comedian collapsed after a holiday in Spain and was taken to Southampton Hospital, where doctors ordered him to clear his events diary.

La Rue became famous in the Sixties, mostly due to the success of his own London club in Hanover Square, which opened in 1964.

It soon established itself as the place to be, and boasted more than 13,000 members. Regular guests included Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon, Judy Garland, Warren Beatty, Noel Coward and Zsa Zsa Gabor. Most of the major entertainment stars of the Seventies cut their teeth at the club.

La Rue himself also reached the peak of his TV fame in the Seventies, although he is still much in demand as a panto dame.

He regularly tours Britain in music hall shows, too, and was scheduled to perform a week in Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre next month. Hi-di-Hi star Paul Shane will now stand in.

 Close friend Pat Lake-Smith told actors’ newspaper The Stage: ‘Danny has had a stroke but without the paralysis. He has been ordered by his doctors to rest completely.’

La Rue always claimed he would never retire: ‘I want to die backstage,’ he said last year. ‘And when I’m gone I want my boobs dipped in gold.’


Published: 28 Mar 2006

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