OCCUPATION: actor, comedian
BORN: Aden, Yemen, February 7, 1962.
EDUCATION: Attended St John's School in Porthcawl, Wales (1968).
Attended just after mother's death.
Attended boarding school in Eastbourne.
Attended University of Sheffield in Sheffield, England. Dropped out.
MILESTONES: Family left Yemen and moved to Bangor, Northern Ireland c.
1964, later relocating to Skewen, Wales before father finally settled in
Bexhill-on-Sea in 1969 Dropped out of college and got comedy experience as a street
1985: Went public as a transvestite at age 23 (date approximate), incorporating
it into his act
at a later date
1994: Starred in West End stage productions of David Mamet's "The Cryptogram"
Oneonta"; also played the title
role in Leicester revival of Christopher Marlowe's
1995: Appeared in solo show "Definite Article"
1996: Feature debut in "The Secret Agent" as devious anarchist/ambassador Vladimir
1996: American TV debut in the "Confession" episode of HBO's "Tales From the Crypt"
1997: Performed his one-man show "Glorious" at NYC's P.S. 122
1998: Appeared at U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, winning the Amstel
jury prize for best one-person
show, "Dress to Kill"
1998: Brought "Dress to Kill" to NYC's Westbeth Theatre, later taking it to San
1998: Portrayed a silent baddie guarding Sean Connery in "The Avengers" and played
manager Jerry Devine in
Todd Haynes' "Velvet Goldmine", about glam rock musicians
1999: Played one of the villains fighting a rag-tag group of superheroes in "The
1999: A San Francisco performance of "Dress to Kill" was aired as an HBO
received two Emmy Awards
1999: Starred on the London stage in as American comic Lenny Bruce in a revised
Julian Barry's play "Lenny",
directed by Peter Hall
2000: Toured USA with one-person show "Circle"
2000: Portrayed German silent actor Gustav von Wangenheim in "Shadow of the Vampire"
Cast opposite Matt LeBlanc in "All
the Queen's Men" (lensed 2000)
Portrayed forensic scientist Peter
Hume in "The Criminal"
2001: Portrayed Charlie Chaplin in "The Cat's Meow" and Lussurioso in "Revenger's
Emceed Amnesty International's "We
Know Where You Live, LIVE!"
Returned to the West End stage as Bri
in "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg"
2002: Portrayed Prosit Luckner in "Blueberry"
2003: Appeared on Broadway in "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg"
Nominated for Tony Award, Drama Desk
Award, Drama League Award and Outer Critics
Received Outer Critics Circle Award
for "Outstanding Actor in a Play"
Starred in Channel Four's 3 Part Series
Hosted Discovery Channel special "Mongrel
Returned to standup with a world tour
Lending his voice as Psammead
in "Five Children and It"
2004:Received South Bank Show Award for Best Comedy for his Sexie World Tour
EddieIzzard.com receives Yahoo
People's Choice Award
Joined cast of "Ocean's 12" and
"Romance and Cigarettes"
Working on autobiographical documentary
"Diva 51" (working title)
2005:Appeared on various Tsunami Relief Benefits
Working on untitled TV pilot for
Appeared in "The Aristocrats",
screened at Sundance
Appearing at US Comedy Fest in
Performed in Scandanavia
Served as narrator for UK's new
Hosted "Mo Mo Helps" Charity Gig
Performed at Just for Laughs in
Appeared on Live 8 in Scotland
2006:Appeared as Nigel the Koala in Disney's "The Wild",
"Across the Universe" , "Super
Performed three shows to benefit
the De La Warr Pavillion
Filmed a cameo for "Ocean's
Life", a TV pilot for the fx network; 13 episodes are ordered for the 2007
2007:"Low Life", now called "The Riches" debuts to rave reviews on fx. Currently
shown Mondays @10pm
Starred on UK's Channel
Five two part movie "Kitchen"
2008: Embarks on US standup tour "Stripped"
BIOGRAPHY: Called "the funniest man in England" by John Cleese, actor-comedian
(and transvestite) Eddie Izzard refined his shtick as a street performer in Covent
Garden, sitting on a unicycle, performing handcuff escapes and engaging in heavy-duty
swordfights ("Our deaths for your entertainment" was the shill) while developing
the ability to "talk and talk and talk and just not stop."
Although he has starred in the 1994 world premiere of David Mamet's "The
Cryptogram" (as a gay man) and played the title role of Christopher Marlowe's
"Edward II", he far prefers a world of his own "carefully crafted rubbish" to
that of serious acting, playing his various one-man shows to sold-out houses
in England, France (in French) and, most recently, the USA. It is not transvestite
humor; he just happens to be a cross-dresser who does comedy, specializing in
stream-of-conscious fare that rarely touches on sexuality ("I'd be the perfect
Izzard made his feature acting debut (sans purple nail polish and Jean Paul Gaultier
Chinese housecoat) as the devious anarchist-ambassador Vladimir of "The Secret
Agent" (1996), Christopher Hampton's take on the Joseph Conrad novel. He later
played a gum-chewing, old lady-thumping bad guy in "The Avengers", the disappointing
feature based on the 60s series, and wore fantastic 70s suits (and, ironically,
less makeup than anyone else in the film) as "a very can-do, gonna-make-you-a-star"
band manager in Todd Haynes' "Velvet Goldmine" (both 1998). Something of a cult
figure in England, Izzard was the subject of "TX", a BBC documentary made
of him on tour, as well as Peter Richardson's behind-the-scenes film "Glorious:
The Road Movie", which aired on Channel 4. For American TV, he acted in
a 1996 episode of HBO's "Tales From the Crypt", performed on HBO's "Comic Relief
VIII" and narrated the "David Bowie" segment of VH1's documentary "Legends" (both
1998). Izzard also portrayed evil disco king Tony Pompadour in the feature "The
Mystery Men" (1999), battling a host of cast-off comic book superheroes played
by Ben Stiller, Geoffrey Rush and Janeane Garofalo, among others. His stage and
film career continued with roles in "The Cat's Meow", "Revenger's Tragedy", "All
the Queen's Men", "The Criminal", "Shadow of the Vampire" and on stage starring
in "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg".
Received Special Theatre World Award (1998).
Received Emmy for Oustanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program
for "Eddie Izzard: Dressed to Kill" (1999/2000).
Received Emmy for Oustanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program for
"Eddie Izzard: Dressed to Kill" (1999/2000).
Received Outer Critics Circle Award for "Outstanding Actor in a Play" (2003)
South Bank Show Award for Best Comedy (2004)
FAMILY-MEMBERS: Father: John Izzard. Accountant.
Worked for British Petroleum.
Mother: Dorothy Ella Izzard. Nurse, midwife. Died of cancer at age 41 c.
Brother: Mark, Older.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Dress to Kill" by Eddie Izzard with David Quantick
and Steve Double (1998). Publisher: Virgin.
NOTES: His official Web site is www.izzard.com
Izzard won the Top British Stand Up Comedian Award in 1993 and 1996.
"I'm used to just talking, trying to make things fantastically interesting even
when they're incredibly boring. But in real life, I don't blather on, because
someone might tell me to shut the fuck up." --Eddie Izzard to TIME OUT NEW
YORK, September 4-11, 1997
"I'm a male transvestite, and I fancy women. I don't know why. I'm open for fancying
men, but I can't get my head around that. Which makes me think it's a genetic
thing. No particular choice there. So, male tomboy . . . That's really where I
am. Running. Jumping. Climbing trees. Then putting on makeup when I was up there."
--Eddie Izzard, from the opening minutes of "Dress to Kill", quoted in THE
NEW YORKER, April 6, 1998
About the spontaneity of his act: "I know the rough order of things, but I change
it around, because once you lock into certain arrangements, it becomes boring.
When I'm starting and stopping and making stuff up on the spot, that's when I
like it, that's when it sparkles. It's like a heightened version of a conversation."
--Izzard quoted in LOS ANGELES TIMES, September 6, 1998
Copyright 2001 BASELINE II, Inc. (thanks Michelle) | updated
by the Cake or Death Site