Drag Queens

Actors Who Dressed In Full Drag For A Role  

Natalie Jonah
11.1k views 14 items

Film and TV actors undergo intense preparations to become their characters; many lose or gain weight, others develop accents. Actors who go full drag for a role commit to playing another gender.

The best performers who act in drag do more than don a wig or mustache: they truly play someone different from themselves. The transformations require a sense of poise and empathy, even if the role in question calls for broad comedy. It took a lot of work to create these famous drag roles.

John Travolta is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Actors Who Dressed In Full Drag For A Role
Photo:  New Line Cinema

John Travolta played voluptuous and bubbly Edna Turnblad in the 2007 musical remake of John Water’s cult film Hairspray. Male actors traditionally fill the role; drag performer Divine starred in the original 1988 film, and Harvey Fierstein took a turn in the 2002 Broadway rendition.

More John Travolta

#67 of 339 on The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting) #69 of 126 on The Best Living American Actors featuring The Best John Travolta Movies The Bitter Feud Between Scientology Alpha Males Tom Cruise And John Travolta

see more on John Travolta
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Actors Who Dressed In Full Drag For A Role
Photo:  20th Century Fox

The late, great Robin Williams transformed completely for the 1993 hit Mrs. Doubtfire. Williams's character Daniel puts on a lovely British accent and knee-high socks, all to spend more time with his kids.

More Robin Williams

#19 of 1171 on The Best Actors in Film History #1 of 290 on Which Actor Would You Bring Back for One Final Movie? featuring The Best Ever Robin Williams Movies The Internet Remembers Robin Williams RIP

see more on Robin Williams
Nathan Lane is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Actors Who Dressed In Full Drag For A Role
Photo:  United Artists

Nathan Lane shines in The Birdcage, the 1996 American adaptation of the French farce La Cage aux Folles. In the film, a drag-club-owning gay couple struggles to appear heterosexual to impress their future daughter-in-law’s conservative family. As a result, Lane's Albert winds up posing as a woman.

More Nathan Lane

#30 of 117 on The Best Short Actors #26 of 116 on The Greatest Broadway Stars of All Time #46 of 151 on Who Do You Wish Would Guest Star on the Muppet Show? #40 of 80 on The Best Voiceover Performances in Film

see more on Nathan Lane
Jack Lemmon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Actors Who Dressed In Full Drag For A Role
Photo:  United Artists

Some Like It Hot, the 1959 Billy Wilder classic, remains a comedy favorite in part because of the hilarious pairing of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. Lemmon's character, Jerry, winds up in an all-female band after fleeing from the mob and inadvertently stumbles into love with a myopic, besotted millionaire.

More Jack Lemmon

#48 of 1171 on The Best Actors in Film History #31 of 290 on Which Actor Would You Bring Back for One Final Movie? #72 of 363 on The Funniest People of All Time featuring The Best Jack Lemmon Movies

see more on Jack Lemmon