Stars bid sad final farewell to Irish-born Danny La Rue

STARS including Barbara Windsor, Ronnie Corbett and Roy Hudd gathered to say farewell to Danny La Rue.

The female impersonator described as “a star performer and a star human being” died peacefully in his sleep just before midnight on May 31 following a short illness.

His glittering career spanned some 60 years and he died aged 81 after battling cancer.

A requiem mass took place at the Catholic Church of the Transfiguration in Kensal Rise in London.

Windsor read out Jack’s poem for Danny, composed by La Rue’s former partner and manager for 32 years, Jack Hanson.

La Rue was born Daniel Patrick Carroll in Cork, Ireland, the youngest in a family of five.

He opened his own nightclub in 1964, attracting well over 13,000 members.

On the West End stage he triumphed in seven major shows, including Come Spy With Me at the Whitehall Theatre, the Danny La Rue show at the Prince of Wales theatre and Aladdin at the London Palladium. He took part in more than 50 pantomimes and was also a big hit in Australia.

Hudd said: “Everyone was his fan, from Liberace to Princess Margaret, to Noel Coward.”

He talked of La Rue’s ability to generate “non-PC belly laughs” and said: “He was never late for an entrance,” to laughter.

“He was classy, great at the job, a star performer and a star human being. I loved him very much.”

Corbett described La Rue as a “darling, darling man”.

He said: “We have all of us lost someone special and we were all privileged to have been at some time with him and near him.”

He described his shows as “full of glitter, glamour and wit”.

Those attending the funeral joined in as On Mother Kelly’s Doorstep and Over The Rainbow were played.

LaRue’s family said that donations may be given in his memory to the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolence Fund.

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