London (ANI): Danny La Rue, the world-class cabaret entertainer, stage legend and gay icon, died on Sunday night at his home in Kent. He was 81.
"Danny died peacefully in his sleep just before midnight last night after a short illness," The BBC quoted his spokeswoman, as saying. "His beloved companion Annie Galbraith was with him at their home in Kent," she added.
La Rue had been ill with cancer. Although he hated being called a drag artist, La Rue made a career out of his vaudeville drag act. He preferred the term 'comic in a frock'. Actress Barbara Windsor paid tribute to La Rue, saying, "He's always been the star"
"When Danny was younger, you didn't know if it was a beautiful girl or a very handsome man... but in those days you wouldn't have thought a female impersonator could even be a really big name in showbusiness, but he proved everybody wrong. "He always looked so beautiful in these gowns and wigs he wore, he looked fabulous, and he'd say, 'Good evening all' in that lovely deep other voice he had," added Forsyth.
EastEnders actress Barbara Windsor said she was 'devastated' by his death, and last saw him three weeks ago. "He kept having a little snooze and coming back and saying You won't go, will you?" she said.
La Rue played a leading role in keeping the traditions of music hall and pantomime alive. In the 1970s and 1980s, La Rue was the most famous female impersonator in the world and was at one time the highest-paid entertainer in Britain, according to The Stage newspaper. In 2002, he received an OBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.