Izzard. Comedian. Actor. Wearer
of groovy shoes.
This is his
Eddie was born in the Year of the Tiger, February
7th in Yemen, the youngest son of John and Ella Izzard. In 1963, shortly
before Britain abandoned the capital of Aden (apparently overstaying their welcome
by about a hundred years), the Izzards shuffled off to Bangor in Northern Ireland.
By 1967, troubles started brewing there as well, so the Izzards gathered
their two boys (older brother Mark and lil' Eddie) and headed for Skewen, in South
Wales. Unfortunately, troubles could not be dodged a third time and in 1968,
Eddie's mum died of cancer.
No, Eddie didn't become a father.
The mother (pictured) went into labor during one of Eddie's shows in Scotland.
The proud papa stands behind Eddie.
"So at the age of six I went off to St John's
boarding school in Porthcawl, Wales. It was run by a very pleasant man called
Mr. Crump who we nicknamed 'the man from hell who we all hate'. Seeing as my Mum
had just died I decided to cry relentlessly for about a year. Mr. Crump would
help me along with beatings when he could fit them in." (from
'Live at the Ambassadors')
Eddie's early years are a bit of
a haze comprising mostly of 10 years of trying and failing to get into school
plays. As revenge on the teacher who always made him play the clarinet instead
of Romeo, Eddie decided he would be famous and chose comedy as his path.
own brand of "talking bollocks with more bollocks on top" was honed
first as a sketch comedian at the Edinburgh Festival, a street performer in Covent
Garden and then indoors at the London Comedy Clubs. Sticking up two fingers to
the one-eyed god television, Eddie then toured relentlessly around the country
making people laugh and becoming a cult so that people would don paccamacs and
worship his name.
All of this paid off and he began to win a string of awards
to decorate his bathroom: a Perrier Award nomination at the Edinburgh Festival
and a Time Out Award in 1991. Eddie decided that he wanted to play in the West
End and really make that teacher feel sorry.
In 1993 he took his show to
the Ambassadors Theatre for a 4 week run
which he had to extend twice to 13 weeks to accommodate everyone and was nominated
for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement. The Montreal Festival beckoned
where Eddie was selected as the 1993 showcase artist, the first comedian outside
North America to talk about fish to gain that honour. He ran for a week and sold
out a 400 seat theatre.
He then undertook a nation-wide tour of Britain
followed by another run in the West End, selling out the Albert Theatre within
a week for its 7 week run, a total of 34,000 seats. Still he had snubbed the TV
so everyone agreed that this was pretty amazing (or stupid), and LWT thought they
should give him the
award for Top Live Stand-up Comedian at the British
Comedy Awards. The video of his show at the Ambassadors Theatre was released in
1994 saw Eddie return to the Ambassadors
Theatre to perform the male lead in the world premiere of David Mamet's play
'The Cryptogram'. As a result of The Cryptogram, Eddie was offered one of the
lead parts in the play '900 Oneonta', for which he received excellent notices.
Then, in May 1995, Eddie played Edward II at the Leicester Haymarket for a limited
run. Here he split the critics, The Guardian saying, "Great," The Observer
In the spring of 1995 he compered a 56 date tour
of the UK and Eire, which coincided with the release of his new video from the
Albery Theatre show called 'Unrepeatable'.
Eddie also recorded a series for Radio 4 entitled 'Missed Demeanors' which he
devised and in which is a panellist. It was transmitted last May and repeated
A live improvisational show, 'One Word Improv', with Neil Mullarkey,
Stephen Frost and Suki Webster, was spawned from this radio show and played for
two weeks to packed houses at the Royal Court and again at the Edinburgh Festival.
'One Word Improv' took to the road on May I this year, selling out dates throughout
England, Ireland, Holland and France.
Following Eddie's record breaking
stand-up show, 'Definite Article', at
the Shaftesbury Theatre in the winter of 1995, he will be performing a 4 month
world tour of the show this Autumn to promote the release of the video of 'Definite
Article'. This tour will include a month in New York and shows in Paris (in French),
Koln, Reykjavik, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Copenhagen, starting in Bexhill-on-Sea
on I September.
With film acting roles in 'Aristophanes' (Channel 4), 'The
Secret Agent?' (with Bob Hoskins and Gerard Depardieu) and Damien Hirst's 'Hanging
Around', Eddie still found time to write his sitcom 'Cows', which has been commissioned
for Channel 4. A 1 hour special of 'Cows' which will be screened in the Autumn,
goes into production in the Summer.
Apart from that he is looking for work.
of the above section from the Sheffield Electronic Press 1996
apparently, he's found it.
'Cows' didn't quite work out in the summer of
1995, but Eddie plowed along with various movie and TV roles in The Secret Agent,
The Unseen Frank Skinner TV Show, Lust for Glorious, Inspector Derrick, Velvet
Men and the upcoming The Criminal, Circus
and Shadow of the Vampire.
Sprinkled in between
these roles, Eddie found time to squeeze in a few more stand up acts.
In 1997, he took the
East Village by storm a second time with his appearance in New York City following
a sold out run at P.S. 122 last fall.
Eddie followed that up with the EMMY
AWARD WINNING Dress to Kill, which
he also brought to the US in 1998 and was taped for HBO. This has proven to be
a pivotal show for Eddie which brought his particular brand of stand up to a wider
audience in the US and to this day, continues to do so.
The new millennium
brought Eddie to thousands around the world with his new show Circle.
Eddie was also Broadway bound with the 2003 revival of "A
Day in the Death of Joe Egg" which garnered him nominations for a
Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Drama League Award and Outer Critics Circle Award
(Received Outer Critics Circle Award for "Outstanding Actor in a Play").
Izzard continued his stand up in 2004 with Sexie,
once again taking him around the world. Between stand up tours, he squeezed
in a few character roles in Shadow of the Vampire,
All the Queen's Men, The Criminal,
Circus, The Cat's Meow,
Revengers Tragedy, Blueberry
, Five Children and It and hosting
Mongrel Nation for the Discovery Channel as well as Amnesty International's
We Know Where You Live, Live!
continued adding cameos from Romance and Cigarettes,
Oceans 12 (and 13), The
Aristocrats, Across the Universe, and a co-starring
role in Super Ex to his growing list of acting credits.
found Eddie starring in Channel 5's Kitchen and the
critically acclaimed The Riches.
Adding to his
voice-over work in 2004's Five Children and It,
Eddie voiced the role of Reepicheep in The Chronicles
of Narnia and Dr. Schadenfreude in Igor.
on screen in 2008's Valkyrie, Eddie co-starred with
Xenu-loving Tom Cruise bringing his childhood dream to fruition...sort of:
“I have studied World War II, and when I was a kid, I wanted to be in the
British army,” he says in a New York City hotel room. “There were a lot of things
about my youth that would have slotted into his life. If I had been a German person
going into the Second World War, I would have gone into the army. I can see that
happening. So I felt comfortable from the beginning with him. There was never
going to be a problem with becoming the character. You just have to go into it
and grab it. Some of it you are pulling from yourself and the other things you
2009 finds Eddie equally busy, touring with his
newest standup Stripped and appearing in Rage,
Day of the Triffids and in the 2010 sequel The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage
of the Dawn Treader.
He is currently running around the UK for SPORT
Eddie continues pursuing his acting and standup career.
eddie filmography courtesy of imdb.com