Danny La Rue was born Daniel Patrick Carroll in Cork, the youngest in a family of 5. He was just 9 years old when he was brought to England where the family settled initially in London. However he was evacuated during the Blitz, and spent the next few years in the tiny Devon village of Kennford. He left school at 15 and worked in a fashion store in Exeter.
A term in the Royal Nays involved him in concert party entertainment and set acting career. Back in civvies, it was years of slogging away in repertory, and variety, taking him to almost every theatre in the provinces and affording him an invaluable, ringside view of all the biggest stars of the day.
He made his London debut in a tiny revue at the Irving Theatre, breaking into cabaret at Churchill's, then Winston’s Club alongside Barbara Windsor. Danny sustained ten years-unbroken West End success in this way, while annually performing in pantomime for Tom Arnold.
He opened his own, now legendary, nightclub in Hanover Square in 1964, attracting well over 13,000 members and Celebrities such as Judy Garland, Warren Beatty, Shirley MacLean, Dorothy Squires, Shirley Bassey, Noel Coward ,Zsa Zsa Gabor and Dame Elizabeth Taylor were all patrons. Even HRH Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon would pop in for a laugh.
While making late night appearances at his club, Danny' always had a show or TV program or both to occupy, the earlier hours of the day. It was in these circumstances that he made his West End show debut in the musical hit "Come Spy With Me" at the Whitehall; played a smash hit holiday season in Margate and then starred in one of the longest running pantomimes ever known "Queen Passionella And The Sleeping Beauty" at the Old Saville Theatre.
His nightclub work continued even during a season in Coventry' and for his return to the West End in "At The Palace," which ran for two years. twice the intended run, until April 1972. By that time it had been seen by more than 1,200,000 people. Highlights were later recorded for television, the program topping the week's rating on transmission.
One of his most adventurous roles ... that of 'Dolly Levi' in the world famous musical "Hello Dolly!", was the first time in theatrical history that the part of 'Dolly' had been played by a man and the first time that a man has played a female role in a major musical. "Hello Dolly" opened in Birmingham 1982 for a season before transferring to the Prince of Wales Theatre.
He has undertaken record-breaking summer seasons and pantomimes at major venues all over the country - and headlined record-making cabaret engagements. His annual national tours, with his dazzling Danny La Rue Show, play consistently to outstanding business at the box office.
Internationally he has triumphed in Canada, played successful seasons in Hong Kong, Singapore and the Middle East - and achieved unqualified super stardom in Australia where he used to spend half his working year entertaining in television, in theatre and cabaret seasons. Indeed such is his standing in Australia that in 1988 he was personally invited to be an ambassador for Britain at the Expo '88 celebrations for the country's bi-centenary.
With all his successes have come the acknowledgments of his colleagues and the profession: The Royal Variety Performances of 1969. 1972 and 1978. . And numerous other Royal Shows and Galas, Showbiz Personality of the Year Award in 1969 from the Variety Club of Great Britain, who also feted his then 25 years in show business with a tribute luncheon in his honor in 1976, Theatre Personality of the Year in 1970. Entertainer of the Decade in 1979. and most recently the prestigious Brinsworth Award from the EABF for his outstanding contribution to the entertainment profession and the community'.
He was made an Officer of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002 for raising thousands of pounds for AIDS charities. Danny La Rue passed away of throat cancer.