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 performer

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" and "900
         Oneonta"; also played the title role in Leicester revival of Christopher Marlowe's
         "Edward II"
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 Light
         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 Francisco and
          Los Angeles
1998: Portrayed a silent baddie guarding Sean Connery in "The Avengers" and played band
         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 Mystery Men"
1999: A San Francisco performance of "Dress to Kill"  was aired as an HBO comedy special;
         received two Emmy Awards
1999: Starred on the London stage in as American comic Lenny Bruce in a revised version of
        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 Tragedy".
        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
         Circle Award
        Received Outer Critics Circle Award for "Outstanding Actor in a Play"
        Starred in Channel Four's 3 Part Series "40"
        Hosted Discovery Channel special "Mongrel Nation"
        Returned to standup with a world tour entitled "Sexie"
        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 fx network
        Appeared in "The Aristocrats", screened at Sundance
        Appearing at US Comedy Fest in Aspen, CO
        Performed in Scandanavia
        Served as narrator for UK's new compost adverts
        Hosted "Mo Mo Helps" Charity Gig
        Performed at Just for Laughs in Montreal
        Appeared on Live 8 in Scotland
2006:Appeared as Nigel the Koala in Disney's "The Wild", "Across the Universe" , "Super Ex"
        Performed three shows to benefit the De La Warr Pavillion
        Filmed a cameo for "Ocean's 13"
        Filmed "Low Life", a TV pilot for the fx network; 13 episodes are ordered for the 2007 season
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 one-parent family").

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. 1968.
 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


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