Homage to Ricky Renee

14 Jan


It is with great sadness that I have just heard of the death of Ricky Renee.

Although there was no love lost between us, because too many bad memories occurred during the time that Ray and I spent with him in the late 60’s. when we opened the club for him called “Ricky Renee’s” in Covent Garden.

Ray and I never saw, spoke or had any contact with him whatsoever, from the day that we closed  “Ricky Renee’s” Club. As they say time heals all wounds, so what is the point of bearing malice and animosity when the same is going to come to all of us.


He had it to his fingertips, the man and his persona was perfection itself and I have to hand it to him, he had such style.

Whereas Danny La Rue had meagre talent, but a brilliant business brain in the shape of Jack Hanson, Ricky Renee was all talent and unfortunately no business brain.

We gave him the best of everything, Douglas Darnell designed his costumes, the club setting was sumptuous, and he had a cast of the best West End performers supporting him. But it wasn’t to be! The Gods were not with us!


This is the way I best remember Ricky, glamorous!

The dress was solid bugle beads on chiffon. The coat was silk, trimmed with a white feater boa that went on for yards. The whole ensemble cost a fortune and was made by hand by Douglas Darnell. In fact, Shirley Bassey, who was then married to Kenny Hume, saw the show and immediately ordered a copy of the dress and coat from Douglas! When the show closed, Ricky being theatrical, as we all are, walked off with the dress and coat. That was last we saw of him, the dress and the coat, much to my chagrin! He must have worn it till it fell to pieces; judging from all the photos that I saw of him in it in later years.

ricky-renee-pose-1 BOTH

The tiger was a rug that we had at home.


The finale of the show, Ricky as a man on my very expensive glass floor.

RICKY RENEE HALF AND HALFfe3170458286c0358166dde903be0ceb

The photo shoot to get this shot took hours.


One of the top reporters of the day, Arthur Helliwell of The People newspaper happened to be a friend of ours. Arthur was one of the toughest reporters going. He interviewed Ricky and gave him a glowing report, but all too late! It wasn’t to be!

Ricky Renee in 2002 old

Ricky in later years. I have no idea of the date, maybe 2002. He still looked good.


So another great one has bit the dust.


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5 responses to “Homage to Ricky Renee

  1. Penny milket

    January 14, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    This news is bitter sweet! It reminds me, as you say, we are all headed in the same direction. As a youngster who ran away from home, Heaven and Hell provided me with a decent living for a good while! I am forever grateful! You never knew some of the “back stories “ of that coffee bar as you guys were so busy with your lives! Thank you!

  2. Vivienne Andersson

    February 11, 2018 at 2:18 am

    I remember seeing Ricky in the 1970 film ‘Goodbye Gemini ‘ also starring Judy Geeson and another impersonator Barry Scott with whom Ricky was appearing that same year in the drag revue ‘Birds of a Feather’ at the Royalty Theatre produced by Paul Raymond and Larry Grayson as compere. The show was not a success, West End audiences were not ready for that style of entertainment apparently. I believe Ricky appeared at Chez Romy Haag among other clubs on the continent. I wish someone would write a biography, what a life he must have had!

  3. Graham Ashfield

    July 29, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    So sad I have only just found out that Ricky has passed away We were great friends from 1968 when he first appeared at the Kingsway Casino in Southport Broadway 68 .My partner and I had menswear shop on Lord St. Selling a lot of outfits to guys in show business
    We introduced him to Larry Grayson who went on to Star with him at the Royalty He stayed with us many times becoming a friend of the family. He went on to do Cabaret of course reading the script in our home.
    We shared many holidays together and of course he eventually bought a house in Southport What ever happened before we met I do not know. Sadly we lost contact many years later. But was in contact again with him around 2012 as he was living in Nuremburg.
    I knew things were not going too well for him but every offer of help was turned down. We were writing to each other for quite a while, I still have his letters. It was so sad to read them He was in a plight then. He had to move.I had no way of contacting him I would just like to say he was a wonderfuI friend and we shared so many happy times together Dear Ricky we all loved you. God bless and rest in peace Sadly my partner has passed, Miss you Graham

  4. Shangra Lee

    September 7, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Quite a few warm moments we shared. Wonderful talks we shared, wonderful laughs and jokes. Even though we lost us on the Road of life, my memories were often with you.
    Just read it – it’s so sad. The world will miss your talent and your big warm heart. One day, we’ll all have a big party again.

    • Graham Ashfield

      September 8, 2018 at 8:18 am

      He was a great entertainer and friend with a warm and generous heart rest in peace xxx


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