Drag History: JULIAN ELTINGE

Julian Eltinge (Julian Dalton) was an American drag queen and popular stage and screen actor in the early 1900’s. He began his career as a female impersonator at the age of ten when he performed in the Boston Cadets Revue. His skill at impersonation as well as his graceful femininity would help his star to rise and he began regular appearances in vaudeville and completed several successful tours of the United States and Europe. In 1906, now performing under the single stage name “Eltinge” he made his London debut at the Palace Theater. While in London, Eltinge gave a command performance for King Edward VII, who later presented Julian with the gift of a white bulldog. Eltinge was known to be very specific about his act. He refused to be a caricature of women but rather he strove to present the illusion of actually being a woman. At the conclusion of his performances, he would remove his wig, as his big “reveal” often to the great surprise of the unknowing audience.

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