Lea DeLaria is probably most familiar to people for her SAG Award winning role as Big Boo in the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black. But, she is so much more. She is also a stand-up comic, stage actor, jazz musician, and butch role model.
She was one of the first openly gay comics to appear on television in America, and DeLaria has in impressive list of television and film credits portraying police lieutenants, PE teachers, lesbians, and, on occasion, straight women.
She won Obie and Theater World Awards, plus a Drama Desk nomination for her playing Hildy in the Public Theatre’s 1998 revival of Leonard Bernstein’s On The Town, an Ovation Award nomination for the Rodgers and Hart musical The Boys From Syracuse, and has played both Eddie and Dr. Scott in the Broadway version of The Rocky Horror Show.
DeLaria appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1993, where she said:
“Hello everybody, my name is Lea DeLaria, and it’s great to be here, because it’s the 1990s! It’s hip to be queer! I’m a big dyke.”
She took some flak for using the term dyke on the air.
You probably already love her on Orange Is The New Black, but you are really going to love her when you hear her sing. She was the featured vocalist at the 50th Anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Hollywood Bowl, The Royal Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House. DeLaria has released five albums on the Warner Jazz and Classics label and her book Lea’s Book Of Rules For The World is in its third printing.
Her sixth album, House Of David: DeLaria+Bowie=Jazz, was released in the Summer of 2015 and it is simply da shit!