It didn’t rain on Andre Charles, aka RuPaul, America’s favorite drag queen and icon, as the Emmy winner got his star today on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But even though it was cloudy, a rare thing in Southern California, the stars came out and so did hundreds of RuPaul fans.
The star was placed at 6652 Hollywood Boulevard, in front of the World of Wonder production office, which produces the wildly successful show, “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
Jane Fonda spoke at the ceremony saying she thought Charles’ star should be three times the size given the industry he’s launched.
“He created an industry that has given hundreds of jobs and dreams to so many… Behind the glamour and the drag queen is a man of great depth, incredible intelligence and compassion,” Fonda said.
Born on Nov. 17, 1960, RuPaul Andre Charles spent his childhood in San Diego, and at 15, moved to Atlanta and attended the North Atlanta School of Performing Arts.
Charles’ high school theater teacher sat in the friends and family section during the ceremony.
Charles didn’t finish high school, but in the mid-1980s, he resettled in New York where he went on to make a name for himself as the larger-than-life fab-diva drag star. His first eye-catching national exposure came in 1989 with a featured role dancing in the B52’s “Love Shack” music video.
Other celebs in attendance were Candis Cayne, known for her role as the transgender mistress Carmelita on ABC’s prime time drama “Dirty Sexy Money,” and television personality, Ross Mathews.
Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell told the 500 fans gathered, that he loves the art of drag better than anything else. Calling it a true “art form.”
“What does drag do better than anything else? It highlights the absurdity of gender bias. It highlights the absurdity of racism and discrimination,” O’Farrell said.
“What you’ve done with your show and your career is to help millions of people understand the value of having human dignity and compassion and love for everyone no matter who they are, what they do or where they’re from,” O’Farrel said.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” has inspired several spin-offs, including “RuPaul’s Drag U” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars,” “Skin Wars: Fresh Paint,” “Good Work,” and “Gay for Play Game Show Starring RuPaul.”
In July 2016, seven years after the “RuPaul Drag Race” pilot originally aired on Logo TV, the self-made “glamazon” drag idol made history when he was nominated for his first Primetime Emmy in the Outstanding Host of a Reality or Reality Competition Series, category, putting Charles up against such heavy hitters as Ryan Seacrest, Heidi Klum, and Tim Gunn. RuPaul took home the award at September 2016’s Emmys, then picked up another one in 2017. Time magazine recently named Charles one of its 100 Most Influential People of the year.
When it was time for the man of the hour to speak he was choked up. He said that as a kid, he and his family would drive up from San Diego to Hollywood. They would drop him off near Hollywood Boulevard, so that he could look at the stars. He said he would dream that one day his name would be on one of the starts.
Siting support from family and the “benevolent universe,” Charles said his wish for everyone who could hear him speaking was that their dreams could come true.
“This is absolutely the most important moment in my professional career,” Charles said.
He thanked Jane Fonda, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Viacom, his agents at CAA, Fenton Bailey, his assistant Joelle, his three sisters and his husband George LeBar.
Charles closed with his well-known line, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna’ love somebody else.”