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Craig Russell (actor)

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Russell Craig Eadie (January 10, 1948 – October 30, 1990), known by his stage name of Craig Russell, was a Canadian female impersonator.

His impersonations included Carol Channing, Bette Davis, Mae West, Barbra Streisand, Tallulah Bankhead, Marlene Dietrich, Bette Midler, Anita Bryant, Peggy Lee and Judy Garland. While performing, he always spoke and sang in the voices of the celebrities he was impersonating.

As a teenager, Russell became president of Mae West's fan club, and briefly worked and lived in Los Angeles as West's secretary. He eventually returned to Toronto, where he moved in with Margaret Gibson and worked as a hairdresser while pursuing his career as a stage performer. By 1971, he was a regular performer in Toronto gay clubs and had a burgeoning international following.

Russell fathered one child, a daughter, Susan Allison ("Allison"), who was born January 6, 1973 in Toronto. Father and daughter developed a relationship in the years prior to his death.

In 1977, Russell starred in the film Outrageous!, based on a short story written by Gibson about their time as roommates.

Although he publicly identified as gay rather than bisexual, Russell married his close friend Lori Jenkins in 1982.

In 1987, Russell starred in the sequel to Outrageous!, appropriately titled Too Outrageous!

Russell remained married to Lori until his death in 1990 of a stroke related to complications from AIDS.

Craig was cremated and laid to rest in Port Perry, Ontario.

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