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Eddie Izzard - Biography


Comedian Eddie Izzard
Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images


February 7, 1962

Eddie Izzard Overview:

British comedian, actor and occasional transvestite Eddie Izzard is known for his loose, improvisational comic style, delivering monologues that give way to flights of absurdity and lengthy tangents. He's heavily influenced by legendary sketch group Monty Python, and has both filled in for the late Graham Chapman during live Python performances and been called the "lost Python" by member John Cleese.

Quick Eddie Izzard Facts:

  • Edward Izzard was born in Yemen in 1962.
  • He began performing comedy in in nightclubs in the late 1980s.
  • By the mid-1990s, Izzard had become a successful stand-up in England. He wasn't popular in the U.S. until his stand-up special Dress to Kill aired on HBO in 1999.
  • In addition to comedy, Izzard is an accomplished actor on stage, television and in film.
  • He is a sometimes transvestite, often appearing on stage in drag.
  • He has recorded and released nine stand-up specials since the mid-1990s.

Eddie Izzard Stand-up Tours and Specials:

  • Live at the Ambassadors (1993)
  • Unrepeatable (1994)
  • Definite Article (1996)
  • Glorious (1997)
  • Dress to Kill (1999)
  • Circle (2000)
  • Sexie (2003)
  • Stripped (2008)
  • Live From Wembley (2009)
  • Stripped Too (2010)

Eddie Izzard's Early Life:

Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard was born in Yemen in 1962, moving to both Ireland and Wales before settling in England to attend the University of Sheffield. It was here that he first tried performing stand-up as a street performer during the 1980s; by 1987, Izzard was making his club debut at London's Comedy Store.

By the early '90s, Izzard has become an extremely popular comic in England, winning the British Comedy Award for Top Stand-up in 1993 for his first comedy special, Live at the Ambassadors.

Eddie Izzard: Actor and Comedian:

Izzard continued to perform stand-up throughout the 1990s, finally breaking through to American audiences with his 1999 special Dress to Kill. The show would earn him two Emmys in 2000, for performance and writing. He continued to perform stand-up to massive crowds in the 2000s, culminating in a show at Wembley Stadium in 2009.

In addition to comedy, Izzard is an accomplished actor. He's performed on stage in the premiere of David Mamet's The Cryptogram in 1994 and a Broadway revival of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg in 2003, for which he received a Tony nomination. He's also played comedian Lenny Bruce in Lenny.

In 2006, Izzard was cast as the lead in the FX drama series The Riches opposite actress Minnie Driver. Though the show received critical acclaim, it was ultimately canceled after two seasons on the air.

Izzard has also acted in a number of film roles, including The Avengers (1998), Velvet Goldmine (1998), Mystery Men (1999), All the Queens Men (2001), My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006) and Ocean's 13 (2007), among others.

Additional Eddie Izzard Facts:

  • In a 2007 poll, Izzard was named number 3 on a list of the 100 Greatest British National Comedians by England's Channel 4.
  • Comedy Central also named him number 75 out of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time.
  • Izzard is an active member of England's Labour Party, for which he regularly campaigns and is one of the largest private financial donors.
  • In 2009, he completed a seven week, 1,100-mile marathon run across Britain to raise money for Sport Relief.
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