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Women we love: Lea DeLaria

04/07/2023 09:49

Lea DeLaria had a well-established career before Orange Is the New Black, but it was that role as Big Boo that made her a household name.

Since wrapping on OITNB, DeLaria has been busy.

She’s played Queenie in the TV series Reprisal. She’s also played the role of Molly Yarnchopper in the series Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts.

It looks like DeLaria will next be on our screens in Potato Dreams of America – it’s currently in post-production. DeLaria plays the role of Tamara.

Written and directed by Wes Hurley, Potato Dreams of America is billed as a dark comedy about a gay boy growing up in the Soviet Union, his mail-order bride mother, and their adventurous escape to America.

Who is Lea DeLaria?

Born in 1958 in Illinois, DeLaria began her professional life as a stand-up comedian.

It was 1982 when DeLaria moved to San Francisco to pursue her comedy. Her sexuality and identity as a big butch dyke formed part of her on-stage persona from the beginning.

Music has also been a theme running throughout DeLaria’s career, enabling her to make the move into musical comedy and Broadway productions.

As well as stage and screen appearances, DeLaria has released a number of recordings of jazz standards, and has toured extensively with her music.

It was 2013 when DeLaria hit our screens in Orange Is The New Black.

DeLaria received the Equality Illinois Freedom Award in 2015 for her work as “a cutting-edge performer who has used her talent to entertain and enlighten millions of Americans”.

When she received the award, DeLaria said: “As an out performer for over 33 years who has made it her life’s work to change people’s perception of butch, queer and LGBT, it is an honour for me to receive such recognition from my home state.”



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