Bette Bourne

British actor first appearing at Glasgay! in 2004

Born Peter Bourne, Bette Bourne is a drag queen and activist from Hackney in London. In the 60s he appeared in TV series such as THE AVENGERS and THE PRISONER, and in 1969, he appeared alongside Sir Ian McKellen in a touring double bill of Christopher Marlowe’s EDWARD II and Shakespeare’s RICHARD II. In the 1970s, he put his acting career on hold to become an activist with the Gay Liberation Front, becoming part of a gay commune in London. It was during this period that he started wearing drag and changed his name to “Bette.”

In 1999, Bourne played his friend, Quentin Crisp, in Tim Fountain’s play, RESIDENT ALIEN, at the Bush Theatre in London. He also performed it on tour around the world, including New York and Sydney. Fountain wrote two more plays for Bourne: H-O-T-B-O-I, which was produced at Soho Theatre in 2004 (originally DEEP RIMMING IN POPLAR at its premiere at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow); and ROCK in 2008.