Charles Busch

Actor, Playwright, Gender illusionist
Following in the footsteps of the late Charles Ludlum, founder of New York's Ridiculous Theatre Company, which honed camp and cross-dressing into a comic art in the 1960s and 70s, self-described "gender illusionist" ... Read more »
Born: 08/23/1954 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (15)

One Life to Live 1967 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

Lipstick Jungle 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

Garbo 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

A Very Serious Person 2005 (Movie)

Jan (Actor)

Totally Gayer 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Die Mommie Die! 2003 (Movie)

Angela Arden (Actor)

Oz 2000 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Psycho Beach Party 2000 (Movie)

Captain Monica Sharp (Actor)

Trouble on the Corner 1998 (Movie)

Ms Ellen (Actor)

Judy Garland: Beyond the Rainbow 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

It Could Happen to You 1994 (Movie)

Timothy (Actor)

Addams Family Values 1993 (Movie)

Countess Aphasia du Barry (Actor)

Light Years 1988 (Movie)

of Gemnen (Voice)

Dragtime (TV Show)

Actor
Writer (6)

A Very Serious Person 2005 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Die Mommie Die! 2003 (Movie)

(from play: "Die Mommy Die") (Source Material)

Die Mommie Die! 2003 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Psycho Beach Party 2000 (Movie)

("Psycho Beach Party") (Play as Source Material)

Psycho Beach Party 2000 (Movie)

(Play) (Source Material)

Psycho Beach Party 2000 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Director (2)

A Very Serious Person 2005 (Movie)

(Director)

Personal Assistant 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Director

Biography

Following in the footsteps of the late Charles Ludlum, founder of New York's Ridiculous Theatre Company, which honed camp and cross-dressing into a comic art in the 1960s and 70s, self-described "gender illusionist" Charles Busch drew inspiration from movie and stage divas of yore and created complex female characterizations, not just a cabaret drag persona, to place at the center of his trashy spectacles. In 1984, he formed Theatre-in-Limbo with a group of friends and began performing his wonderfully-titled plays like "Theodora, She-Bitch of Byzantium" and "Kiss the Blood Off My Castanets" at NYC's Limbo Lounge. "Vampire Lesbians of Sodom" became such a hit there that it moved in 1985 to the historic Provincetown Playhouse, where it played for five years, becoming one of the longest-running non-musicals in Off-Broadway history. A 2000-year-old lesbian in that one, he also scored as Chicklet, a teenager with a multiple personality disorder, in "Psycho Beach Party" (1987), which he would retool for his first screenwriting credit in 2000.

Relationships

Belle

Aunt
also influenced him and his writing

Lillian

Aunt
first generation from Russia her style was a big influence on Busch

Eric Myers

Companion
Busch has refered to their "marriage" and to himself as an "opera widow"

EDUCATION

Northwestern University

Evanston , Illinois
met his future director and co-star Kenneth Elliott

High School of Music and Art

New York , New York 1972

Milestones

2001

Joined the cast of the ABC daytime serial "One Life to Live" playing Peg Barlow

2000

First screenwriting credit, adapting "Psycho Beach Party"; too old for the lead role of Chicklet, he portrayed adult femmes Captain Monica Stark and Mrs. Forrest

2000

Wrote "The Tale of the Alergist's Wife" (his most accessible play yet) for Linda Lavin; did not act in it; opened to successful Off-Broadway run in the spring; transferred to Broadway in fall; earned Best Play Tony nomination

1999

Had recurring role as an inmate on HBO's "Oz"; his character suffocated Italian mob boss Antonio Nappa

1997

With composor-lyricist Rusty McGee concocted the Off-Broadway musical "The Green Heart", based on the same Jack Ritchie story that inspired Elaine May's "A New Leaf" (1971); did not act in it

1997

Conceived "Queen Amarantha" as his (Sarah) Bernhardt vehicle; portrayed a drag actor playing a woman (Amarantha) who's conflicted about her gender and dresses as a man; rejecting his usual "camp" style, he successfully addressed a serious subject ending i

1997

Performed his one-man show "Flipping My Wig", subtitled "An Evening with Charles Busch"; directed by Elliott

1997

Portrayed Ms. Ellen, the resident, fortune-telling drag queen in "Trouble on the Corner"

1996

Co-authored and appeared in the Off-Broadway musical "Swingtime Canteen"

1995

Played a gay man in his "You Should Be So Lucky", his first play featuring Jewish humor, as well as gay humor

1994

Uncharacteristically played a male role (Timothy) in Andrew Bergman's "It Could Happen to You"

1993

Appeared as Countess Aphasia du Barry in "Addams Family Values"

1991

Portrayed Mary Dale, a well-meaning Pollyanna of a Hollywood star who names names at the McCarthy hearings, in his "Red Scare on Sunset"

1988

Wrote and performed in "The Lady in Question", playing an American concert pianist and Nazi hunter in World War II Europe; moved from Limbo Lounge to WPA Theatre and finally to the Orpheum Theatre in 1989

1988

Adapted Guy Bolton and Eddie Davis' book for a new production of the 1955 musical "Ankles Aweigh" at Goodspeed Opera House, East Haddam, Connecticut; first thing he had written that he did not perform in

1988

Provided the voice of Gemnen, a two-headed monster, in the animated sci-fi feature "Light Years"

1987

Played the lead in his own "Psycho Beach Party"

1985

Wrote and performed in "Times Square Angel", a touching Christmas tale of a tough cookie with a tender heart, starring Busch as Irish O'Flanagan

1985

Off-Broadway debut, "Vampire Lesbians of Sodom"; ran five years, becoming one of the longest-running non-musicals in Off-Broadway history

1984

Formed Theatre-in-Limbo with a group of friends (including Kenneth Elliott) and began performing plays at the Limbo Lounge, where the hit "Vampire Lesbians of Sodom" originated

1978

Wrote and performed one-man show "Hollywood Confidential" in Greenwich Village

Raised by his Aunt Lillian in Hartsdale, New York after his mother died when he was seven

After college, worked for two years in Chicago with a small company of unimaginative actors who resented him writing and starring in all their shows

Toured the country with one-man show, "Charles Busch Alone with a Cast of Thousands"; seeing this piece, Charles Ludlum provided him with the space to perform "Hollywood Confidential"

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