Eddie Izzard. Comedian. Actor. Wearer of groovy shoes.
This is his story.

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.

Eddie Izzard with baby
Eddie With Child
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.
Well done!

"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.

His 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

Eddie at the London Palladium

award for Top Live Stand-up Comedian at the British Comedy Awards. The video of his show at the Ambassadors Theatre was released in December 1993.

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 saying, "Die."

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 in January.

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.

Portions  of the above section  from the Sheffield Electronic Press 1996

And 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 Goldmine, The Avengers, Mystery 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.

From Emporer FabulousIn 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").

Eddie 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!

Eddie 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.

2007 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.

Back 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 find.”

2009 finds Eddie equally busy, touring with his newest standup Stripped and appearing in Rage, Every Day, Spectacular Regret, The 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 RELIEF.

Eddie continues pursuing his acting and standup career.

eddie's politics
career/biographical timeline
eddie filmography courtesy of imdb.com
another eddie bio


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