5 Tough Guys Who Have Performed In Drag

Guys Who Have Performed In DragDressing in drag is the act of a man (or woman) putting on the clothing of the opposite sex.  Doing this may seem strange to some, but it isn’t new to acting.  In the time of William Shakespeare, all actors were male. When the role required a female part in the script, a man put on a dress and wig and played the character. The same thing was done in early opera where young men, or castrati (young men castrated to retain their high voices), were used to play women’s roles. Note: None of these people were ever called “drag queens” or “being dressed in drag“. The term of “drag” is a wholly 20th century word which typically has a negative connotation. Nonetheless, some actors like Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon (in the Marilyn Monroe 1959 film, Some Like It Hot) have dressed in drag for comedic roles.  Likewise, Monty Python used to dress in drag, as well as Robin Williams (Mrs. Doubtfire) and Dustin Hoffman (Tootsie). Below is a list of five other men who dressed up as a woman. These tough guys might surprise you with their “lady-like” qualities.

John Travolta

John Travolta plays Edna Turnblad in the Broadway movie/musical, “Hairspray”

myfivebest -1JOHN TRAVOLTA

John Travolta has portrayed everything else from dancers to singers to bad guys and aliens.  So why not play a woman?  He did just that in the 2007 film Hairspray. Unlike the other actors on this list, Travolta wasn’t a man pretending to be a woman – his character was actually a woman! Travolta plays Edna Turnblad, the heavyset mother of a girl who rockets to fame on a local dance show in the 1960s, despite her weight.  As an added treat, Travolta’s “husband” in the film is Christopher Walken!

Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze stars along with follow tough-guy, Wesley Snipes in “To Wong Fu, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar”

myfivebest - 2PATRICK SWAYZE

Growing up, I remember Patrick Swayze as the tough bouncer in Roadhouse (1989), the older brother in The Outsiders (1983), and the leader of a pack of rebels in Red Dawn (1984). In 1995, he went a completely different direction in the film To Wong Fu, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar. In this movie, he plays a drag queen, named Vida Boheme, who travels cross country with two other friends – also drag queens – played by Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo. Along the way, there car breaks down in a not-so-liberal small town.

Leiv Schreiber

A not-so-feminine Leiv Schreiber loses the Sabertooth claws and puts on a dress in “Taking Woodstock”.

myfivebest - 3LEIV SCHREIBER

If you are familiar with Leiv Schreiber, then you will probably recognize him as the character of Sabertooth in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie (2009). He’s also played the role of the bad guy in movies like Salt (2010) with Angelina Jolie. In 2009, Leiv tried his hand as an ex-Marine drag queen, named Vilma, in the Ang Lee film, Taking Woodstock.  It wasn’t the first time for this actor put on a dress, either. You can see him in drag again in the 1994 movie, Mixed Nuts.

Tom Hanks

Everyone has to start somewhere. Tom Hanks did it in a dress for the sit-com, “Busom Buddies” which ran from 1980-1983.

myfivebest - 4TOM HANKS

Tom Hanks is an award winning actor, director, and producer.  He appeared as Captain Miller, the tough Army Ranger in Saving Private Ryan (1998).  He was also involved in Band of Brothers and HBO’s The Pacific.  None of this may have been possible if Hanks hadn’t had his big television break in a 1980 sitcom called, Bosom Buddies. In this show, Hanks plays Kip Wilson (aka Buffy Wilson), who – along with friend Peter Scolari – disguise themselves as women to rent an affordable apartment.

Johnny Depp

The star of Pirates of the Caribbean was showing his feminine side as a cross-dressing cop that went as Bon Bon in the movie “Before Night Falls”.

myfivebest - 5JOHNNY DEPP

The original star of the series 21 Jump Street (he’ll make a cameo in the new movie); Depp has been a soldier in Platoon (1986), a pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean, and soon-to-be vampire, Barnabus Collins, in the movie Dark Shadows (2012) and Tonto in a remake of The Lone Ranger (2013).  However, you might not have seen the movie where Depp put on a dress and wig.  He played the character of Bon Bon in the movie Before Night Falls (2000).  In the movie, Depp plays a transvestite known as Bon Bon who is a police officer by day. The movie takes place in New York City and focuses around the life of openly gay Cuban poet, Reinaldo Arenas (played by Javier Bardem).

[ReviewAZON name=”GuysInDrag” id=”64″ display=”multiinlineasins” asins=”B000WAGVHE,B002FVHR5S,B002SQ364Q,B000R7I3YG,B000067NPE” trackingid=”mywebsource1-20″ country=”us” width=”100%” float=”left” displaytype=”list” count=”10″]