Lea DeLaria

Inside Biography


Fifty-eight years old Lea Deliria is an American comedian, actress, and jazz musician. The ‘famously controversial’ DeLaria was ‘the first openly gay comic break the late-night-talk-show barrier’ with her 1993 appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show. She is also known for ‘Orange is the New Black’ (2013), ‘Edge of Seventeen’ (1998) and ‘The First Wives Club’ (1996). Lea was born on May 23, 1958, in Belleville, Illinois, United States America.

Early Life and Education

Lea DeLaria was born in Belleville, Illinois, as the daughter of Jerry Jean, a homemaker, and Robert George DeLaria, who is a jazz pianist and social worker. Her paternal grandparents were Italian. Lea attended St. Mary’s Elementary School situated in her birthplace, Belleville. She has referenced her upbringing in her performances. She has one brother and sister.


Lea DeLaria began her career in 1982 when she moved to San Francisco and performed raunchy stand-up comedy in the Mission District. Discussing her stand up, she says, “This is who I am when I’m up there. This is it. I am a big butch dike. That is who I am. And I’m a friendly one. I’m big butch dike with a smile on my face”.

She directed ‘Ten Percent Revue’, a musical revue with the song related to h 0sexuality and that most of reflecting pride in being gay in 1986. She featured in ‘Dos Lesbos’, a musical comedy about two lesbians dealing with the issues of living together in 1988. In 1989, she also featured in ‘Girl Friday: We are Funny That Way’, a musical comedy.

In 1993, Lea DeLaria appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show, where she was the first openly gay comic to appear on a late-night talk show. She hosted Comedy Central’s Out There, the first all-gay stand-up comedy special at the last of 1993. She is also known for her touring ‘musical comedy about perverts’, Dos Lesbos, and as well as Girl Friday. The comedian has also released two CD recordings of her comedy named Bulld y k e in a China Shop in 1994 and Box Lunch in 1997.

Lea DeLaria was the voice of Helga Phugly on the short-lived, animated sitcom, The Oblongs in 2001. In 2008, Lea recorded ‘The Live Smoke Sessions’ by Warner, which released in 2008. She is currently performing in Prometheus Bound at The American Repertory Theater situated in Cambridge. Lea has also appeared in the Netflix Original Orange is the new Black from 2013.

Personal life and Affair

At the beginning of 2015, Lea DeLaria became engaged to fashion Editor Chelsea Fairless after two and a half years of dating. The two met through Fairless’s friend, Emma Myles who is the actress. She said she and Fairless were no longer together in January 2017.

by Bchrome, 20 Jan, 2017

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