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"Bloke in a Frock"

Danny La Rue, a legendary British female impersonator known for his cabaret-style performances, extravagant costumes, impersonations of Hollywood A-listers and his signature bleach-blonde wig, died Sunday. He was 81.

But beneath his feathered attire, elaborate headdresses and sequin gowns, La Rue thought of himself as just another performer.

"I work in drag," he used to say, "but I don't want to be a drag queen. I'm a variety performer, and I never want people to forget that I'm a bloke in a frock."

He impersonated celebrities such as Marlene Dietrich, Carol Channing, Shirley Bassey and Zsa Zsa Gabor. He performed in clubs, cabarets and variety shows for nearly 40 years.

He performed on London's West End and it was reported that he was the only man to take over a woman's role, replacing Avis Bunnage in "Oh! What a Lovely War." He also starred on stage in "Aladdin," "Mother Goose" and "The Sleeping Beauty."

Critics wrote he was totally convincing as a woman. Check out the two videos below, one of him impersonating actress Joan Collins. Let us know if you agree.

By Lauren Wiseman |  June 1, 2009; 1:40 PM ET
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bloke in a frock. good variant on old men in dresses. if only they were as entertaining...

Posted by: natty-bumppo | June 2, 2009 2:46 AM

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