Cross-dressing in film and television
|History of cross-dressing|
|Breeches role · Breeching
Travesti · In film and television
In wartime · Pantomime dame
|As a transgender identity
Passing · Transvestism
|Modern drag culture|
|Ball culture · Drag
Drag king · Drag pageantry
Drag queen · Faux queen
List of drag queens
|Autoandrophilia · Autogynephilia
Feminization · Petticoating
Sissy · Transgender sexuality
|Bacha posh · Crossplay
|Passing as male|
|Breast binding · Packing|
|Passing as female|
Hip and buttock padding
|My Husband Betty
She's Not The Man I Married
Cross-dressing in motion pictures began in the early days of the silent films. Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel brought the tradition of female impersonation in the English music halls when they came to America with Fred Karno's comedy troupe in 1910. Both Chaplin and Laurel occasionally dressed as women in their films. Even the beefy American actor Wallace Beery appeared in a series of silent films as a Swedish woman. The Three Stooges, especially Curly (Jerry Howard), sometimes appeared in drag in their short films. The tradition has continued for many years, usually played for laughs. Only in recent years have there been dramatic films in which cross-dressing was included, possibly because of strict censorship of American films until the mid-1960s. One early exception was the murderer, a transvestite who wears particularly frilly dresses and petticoats, in Alfred Hitchcock's British thriller Murder!.
Film and video
As a central plot element
- Films based on the 1599 or 1600 play As You Like It by William Shakespeare
- Several films based on the 1892 United Kingdom play Charley's Aunt by Brandon Thomas
- Charley's Aunt (1915) – An American film.
- La tía de las muchachas (1938) – A Mexican film.
- Charley's (Big-Hearted) Aunt (1940)
- Fram för lilla Märta (1945) – A Swedish film. A musician, played by Stig Järrel, crossdresses to get a job in an all-female orchestra.
- Charles Tante (1959) – A Danish film starring Dirch Passer.
- Charleys Tante (1956) – A German film.
- Charleys Tante (1963) – A German film.
- Hello, I'm Your Aunt! (1974) – A Soviet film.
- La tía de Carlos (Charles' aunt) (1981) - A Spanish film starred by Paco Martínez Soria.
- Les Résultats du féminism (1906), remade as In the Year 2000 (1912). The latter is believed to be lost.
- I Don't Want to Be a Man (Ich möchte kein Mann sein) (1920)
- Viktor und Viktoria (1933), in which a woman impersonates a female impersonator. (Later remade as Victor Victoria in 1982; see below.)
- Queen Christina (1933) - Greta Garbo's character Christina often dresses as a boy to have greater freedom, eventually meeting Antonio, the Spanish envoy, dressed as a boy.
- Peter (1934) – A musical comedy by Henry Koster starring Franciska Gaal.
- Sylvia Scarlett (1935) – Katharine Hepburn dresses as a boy for most of the movie; this is her first movie with Cary Grant.
- Boy! What a Girl! (1947) – Tim Moore impersonates a woman as "Bumpsie".
- Das Wirtshaus im Spessart (1958) – Young countess dresses as a poor boy and joins the robbers to save her friends.
- Some Like It Hot (1959) – Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon dress as women and join an all-girl band, in order to hide from the mob.
- Psycho (1960) – Anthony Perkins is a killer who wears his dead mother's clothes.
- Homicidal (1961) – Male role played by Jean Arless was actually actress Joan Marshall.
- Gunn (1967) – The killer is revealed to be a cross-dresser.
- The Kremlin Letter (1969) – George Sanders plays a notorious transvestite.
- Sometimes Aunt Martha Does Dreadful Things (1971) - Two criminals hide from the law, with one of them pretending to be the other's aunt.
- Poszukiwany poszukiwana (1973) - Man Woman Wanted by Stanisław Bareja: http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poszukiwany,_poszukiwana
- Female Trouble (1974) – Divine plays an obese criminal woman and an obese man.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) – Tim Curry plays a self-proclaimed "sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania".
- La Cage aux Folles (1978) – Features female impersonators.
- Lady Oscar (1979) – The female protagonist, Oscar François de Jarjayes, dresses as a man, but privately acknowledges her feminine side.
- Dressed to Kill (1980) – The killer dresses as a woman.
- Victor Victoria (1982) – Transvestism in various forms is included in this musical comedy. (Remake of Viktor und Viktoria (1933); see above.)
- Tootsie (1982) – Dustin Hoffman becomes the female star of a television soap opera.
- A Blade in the Dark (1983) – Michele Soavi plays Tony Rendina/Linda.
- Just One of the Guys (1985) – Joyce Hyser plays a boy so she can win a journalism contest.
- He's My Girl (1987) - T.K. Carter plays Reggie who pretends to be Regina when his friend wins a contest trip to Los Angeles.
- Mascara (1987) - A transvestite is murdered.
- Delinquent in Drag (1988) – Suke Banji gets expelled from school, and is subsequently forced to masquerade as a girl in his next school.
- Torch Song Trilogy (1988) – Harvey Fierstein plays Arnold, a New York female impersonator.
- Nobody's Perfect (1990) - Chad Lowe is kicked off his college's tennis team and dresses up as a girl to join the women's team and be closer to his crush.
- Nuns on the Run (1990) – Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane disguise as nuns.
- The Silence of the Lambs (1991)- Ted Levine plays serial killer Jame Gumb, better known as Buffalo Bill who makes the skins of his female victims into a woman suit for him to wear.
- Just Like a Woman (1992) – Adrian Pasdar is Gerald, a finance executive and transvestite, who finds himself thrown out by his wife, when she discovers women's underwear in their flat.
- Ladybugs (1992) – Jonathan Brandis dresses as a girl to play in the girls' soccer team.
- A Little Bit of Lippy (1992) – Chris Bernard Husband is discovered cross-dressing, wife and community must come to terms.
- Little Sister (1992) – Bobby (Jonathan Silverman) becomes 'Roberta' in order to infiltrate a sorority house and be close to Diana (Alyssa Milano).
- Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) – Robin Williams's character Daniel Hillard disguises himself as a woman so he can see his children.
- Anything for Love (1993) – Chris (Corey Haim) dresses as a girl to avoid his tormentors at school.
- My Summer as a Girl (1994) – Zach Braff's character Tony cross-dresses to get a job as a chambermaid.
- The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) – An offbeat comedy of three men traveling cross country, to perform a drag show in the outback of Australia. Two of them, Felicia (Guy Pearce) and Mitzi (Hugo Weaving) are drag queens, while Bernadette (Terence Stamp) is a post-operation male to female transsexual.
- He's a Woman, She's a Man (1994) – Wing (Anita Yuen) is a sassy girl who enters a country-wide, males-only talent search, disguised as a male.
- Color of Night (1994) – Jane March's character Rose disguises herself as her dead stuttering brother Richie.
- To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995) – Three drag queens help people in a small town after their Cadillac breaks down on the way to Los Angeles.
- Twelfth Night: Or What You Will (1996) – Based on the 1623 play Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.
- My Friend Joe (1996) – Joe is a girl disguising as a boy.
- The Associate (1996) – Whoopi Goldberg dresses as a white man to prove Wall Street wrong.
- The Birdcage (1996) – Features drag queens, including Albert Goldman (Nathan Lane), who dresses up like Val Goldman's mother, to help him win the hand of his girlfriend.
- Ma Vie en Rose (1997) - A young boy, Ludovic, who was born male but consistently insists that she is supposed to be a girl.
- Chachi 420 (1998) – A Bollywood film reminiscent of Mrs. Doubtfire, in which a father gets divorced and also loses the custody of his daughter. He tries to get in his wife's house by disguising as a maid to be near his daughter and wife, and a series of comic situations occur.
- Mulan (1998) – Mulan is a Chinese woman, who disguises herself as a soldier to fight the Huns in place of her father.
- Shakespeare in Love (1998) – Includes Shakespeare's use of female impersonators in his plays.
- Flawless (1999) – A conservative security guard (Robert De Niro) suffers a stroke, and is assigned to a rehabilitative program that includes singing lessons with the drag queen next door.
- Bruno (2000) – Alex D. Linz An 8 Year Old Boy who wears dresses as a source of empowerment as well as feeling the need to express himself while trying to win the spelling bee.
- Big Momma's House (2000) – Martin Lawrence plays an FBI agent who goes undercover and dresses as a heavy-set woman.
- Holiday Heart (2000) – Holiday Heart (Ving Rhames) is a gay drag queen who performs at a night club.
- All the Queen's Men (2001) – Matt LeBlanc and Eddie Izzard head a team of Army men sent to infiltrate a German factory dressed as women.
- Motocrossed (2001) – Alana Austin is a girl whose father won't let her race because she's a girl, so she goes undercover and poses as a male to race for her big brother.
- The Triumph of Love (2001) – Mira Sorvino plays the daughter of a usurper, who disguises herself as a young male scholar named Phocion to get closer to Agis, the rightful heir to the throne.
- Sorority Boys (2002) – Barry Watson, Michael Rosenbaum, and Harland Williams pose as girls when they're kicked out of their dorm.
- Juwanna Mann (2002) – A disgraced NBA player (Miguel A. Núñez Jr.) is fired from his job and dresses as a loud-mouthed Southern Belle in order to join the WNBA.
- Girls Will Be Girls (2003) – All three of the main characters (Evie, Coco and Varla) are drag alter egos of the actors, who have existed "on their own" for several years.
- Party Monster (2003) – Seth Green plays club personality James St. James.
- The Hot Chick (2003) – Rob Schneider plays a girl who turns into a man overnight, and must find a way to change back.
- Stage Beauty (2004) – Ned Kynaston (Billy Crudup) is an actor famed for his portrayal of female characters, particularly Desdemona in Othello.
- Connie and Carla (2004) – Nia Vardalos and Toni Collette go on the run, after accidentally witnessing a mafia hit in Chicago, and wind up posing as drag queens at a gay club.
- White Chicks (2004) – Shawn and Marlon Wayans play FBI agent brothers who must protect two cruise line heiresses from a kidnapping plot while in disguise of the women they are protecting.
- Breakfast on Pluto (2005) - Cillian Murphy is a transgender foundling searching for love and her long-lost mother in small town Ireland and London in the 1970s.
- Kinky Boots (2005) – Chiwetel Ejiofor's character Simon cross-dresses as drag queen Lola.
- She's the Man (2006) – Amanda Bynes dresses as a man to be accepted in Illyria's boys' soccer team and get revenge in Cornwall. Based on the play Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.
- Butch Jamie (2007) – Writer/director/actor Michelle Ehlen plays a butch lesbian actress who gets cast as a man in a film.
- Dil Bole Hadippa! (2009) – Bollywood actress Rani Mukerji plays a girl who dresses as a boy in order to play on the Indian cricket team.
- Albert Nobbs (2011) – Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) is a woman living as a man in order to find work in the harsh environment of 19th-century Ireland
- Cockpit (2012) – Jonas Karlsson portrays the laid off pilot Valle who re-applies for the job as "Maria" and wins it through affirmative action.
- Sisterakas (2012) – a film from the Philippines starring Vice Ganda as Bernice Sabroso.
As a non-comedic element
Most of the above films are comedies. Films in which cross-dressing is treated in a more serious manner are relatively rare, although the list does include several dramas and biopics.
- Hotel Splendide (1932) - Features a criminal gang whose leader disguises himself as "Mrs. LeGrange"
- Glen or Glenda (1953) – Inspired by his own experiences, Ed Wood wrote, directed, and starred in the movie as a troubled cross-dresser, in a sort of plea for acceptance. Originally an exploitation film about Christine Jorgensen.
- The Tenant (1976) - The main character suffers from a split personality
- Yentl (1983) – The title character is a young woman (Barbra Streisand), who dresses as a boy so she can study in a yeshiva. When she is believed, her love life becomes too complicated for an Orthodox Jewish community.
- Flickan vid stenbänken (1989) – The girl Carolin cross-dresses as a boy. Sporadically at first, but eventually full-time for an employment.
- The Crying Game (1992) – An IRA member develops an unexpected relationship with a pre-op transgender woman.
- The Ballad of Little Jo (1993) – A lone woman in the Old West takes on a male role in order to survive.
- M. Butterfly (1993) – a French diplomat (Jeremy Irons) becomes infatuated with a performer in a Chinese opera, where all roles are performed by men.
- The King of Masks (1996) – A Chinese girl poses as a boy in order to get adopted by an elderly man.
- Boys Don't Cry (1999) – The true story of Brandon Teena (Hilary Swank), a transgender man who pursued a relationship with a young woman (Chloë Sevigny), and was beaten, raped and murdered by his male acquaintances.
- Baran (2001) – An Iranian boy falls in love with a young Afghan refugee, who must dress as a boy to keep her job at a construction site.
- Osama (2003) – A 12-year-old Afghan girl dresses like a boy in order to get a job during the regime of the Taliban.
- The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things (2004) – While on the run, Sarah disguises her son, Jeremiah, as a girl and passes him off as her "sister" until he is raped by her current boyfriend and is found out. (Note: In the movie adaption, Jeremiah is played by both Cole and Dylan Sprouse in different scenes, both of whom have had several other roles that involved crossdressing.)
- Peacock (2010) – Cillian Murphy plays John Skillpa, a man who as a result of severe child abuse has formed the alternate personality of Emma Skillpa and dresses as a woman to become Emma.
As a minor plot element
Many other comedy films include instances of humorous cross-dressing, but do not feature it as a central plot element. Movies in which cross-dressing plays a minor but important role include:
- Sherlock Jr. (1924) – Buster Keaton jumps through a window, emerging in an elderly woman's dress and scarf in order to escape the villains.
- The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929) – Buster Keaton appears in drag in one of the musical numbers.
- Morocco (1930) – Marlene Dietrich wears a tuxedo.
- Babes in Toyland (1934) – Stan Laurel masquerades as a woman in an attempt to deceive the villain.
- The Devil Doll (1936) – Lionel Barrymore plays an evil, elderly woman.
- Piętro wyżej (1937) – Eugeniusz Bodo sings a song Sex appeal on an official party, pretending to be a woman, introduced as "our home-made Mae West".
- Love Crazy (1941) – William Powell makes a rare appearance in drag in this screwball comedy.
- You're in the Army Now (1941) – Jimmy Durante appears in drag in this wartime comedy.
- The Dancing Masters (1943) – Stan Laurel appears in a variety of dancing costumes, including a rather extravagant ballerina dress.
- Abroad with Two Yanks (1944) – Both William Bendix and Dennis O'Keefe appear in drag in this wartime comedy.
- National Velvet (1944) – Elizabeth Taylor as Velvet Brown, who disguises herself as a male jockey, and trains a horse for the Grand National steeplechase.
- Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. (1946) – Spencer Williams as a female fortune teller.
- Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949) - Lou Costello's character in the film disguises himself as a hotel maid.
- Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) – Alec Guinness plays Lady Agatha D'Ascoyne.
- I Was a Male War Bride (1949) – Cary Grant is a French officer who marries a US Army officer played by Ann Sheridan and cross-dresses to pass as a bride.
- Stalag 17 (1953) – Harry Shapiro (played by Harvey Lembeck) dresses up as a woman to dance with Animal (played by Robert Strauss) in order to cheer him up during the Christmas celebration.
- Casanova's Big Night (1954) – Bob Hope appears in drag.
- The Matchmaker (1958) – Anthony Perkins and Robert Morse dress in drag to escape from the Harmonia Gardens restaurant.
- High Time (1960) Bing Crosby has to dress as a Southern belle as part of college initiation.
- Jules and Jim (Jules et Jim) (1962) – Jeanne Moreau's character Catherine briefly cross-dresses as Thomas.
- Thunderball (1965) – A former enemy of Bond fakes his death and poses as his own widow in the prologue segment.
- The Glass Bottom Boat (1966) – Paul Lynde dresses in drag as a disguise.
- The Producers (1968) – Roger De Bris (Christopher Hewett) appears in a women's evening gown and tiara.
- The Damned (1969) – Directed by Luchino Visconti. Martin's (a character played by Helmut Berger) drag performance as Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel at his grandfather's birthday celebration, notorious at the time of the film's release, has since become an iconic image in cinema history.
- Robin Hood (1973) – Robin Hood and Little John dress as two elderly female fortune-tellers to rob Prince John's wagon.
- Freebie and The Bean (1973) – Mystery hit man turns out to be a convincing transvestite.
- Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) – Jeff Bridges crossdresses to distract bank guards in a robbery.
- Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) – Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. The four masters dress in women's clothes and coerce their male victims, clothed in wedding dresses, into same-sex marriage.
- Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978) – A transvestite steals Clouseau's clothes and car, when an assassination attempt has the transvestite being killed instead.
- Perfect Gentlemen (1978)
- Monty Python's Life Of Brian (1979) – Several "women" (actually portrayed by the all-male Python ensemble) disguise themselves as men in order to attend a stoning.
- Gnomes (1980) – An American animated film where the troll Runt briefly dresses as a gnome bride.
- Deathstalker (1983) – The sorcerer Munkar, turns his henchman Gargit into the image of Princess Codille (Barbi Benton), in order to seduce the hero Deathstalker.
- Yellowbeard (1983) – Captain Hughes sneaks a woman on board ship by having her dress as a man.
- Angel (1984) – Dick Shawn plays street-smart transvestite, who is like a den-mother to the main character, child prostitute, Angel.
- Cannonball Run II (1984) – JJ, Victor, and Fenderbaum infiltrate a bordello dressed in drag as belly dancers.
- Ronia, the Robber's Daughter (1984) – A robber dresses as a female to con other robbers.
- Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) – To disguise themselves from the police, Pee-wee Herman and an escaped convict dress as husband and wife, with Pee-wee as the wife.
- 9 1/2 Weeks (1986) - Kim Basinger loosely dresses as a man during a night at a restaurant.
- Betty Blue (1986) – Zorg dresses (and passes) as a woman ("Josephine") in two crucial scenes.
- Outrageous Fortune (1987) – Bette Midler and Shelley Long disguise themselves as pre-pubescent boys to gain entry into a remote brothel in New Mexico.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) - In a dream sequence, Robert Englund plays a school nurse in drag where she reveals that she is actually Freddy Kruger and attempts to kill Kristen Parker (Tuesday Knight).
- Willow (1988) – Madmartigan (portrayed by Val Kilmer) disguises himself (unsuccessfully) as a woman to hide an apparent infidelity from a jealous husband.
- Hairspray (1988) - While not exactly a plot element, the role of Edna Turnblad has always been played by a man in drag, and was indeed written with that intention, most recently portrayed by John Travolta in the 2007 remake.
- Tango & Cash (1989) – Kurt Russell cross-dresses to escape from the police.
- Total Recall (1990) – Arnold Schwarzenegger disguises himself as a lady in an attempt to avoid Michael Ironside, who wants to capture him on his return to Mars.
- Sleeping with the Enemy (1991) – Julia Roberts disguises herself as a young man in order to visit her elderly mother and avoid her possessive husband.
- Robin Hood (1991) – Uma Thurman's character Marion disguises as Martin to join the band of Robin Hood.
- Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993) – Little John, Ahchoo, Will Scarlet O'Hara and Blinkin disguise themselves as women to go see the archery contest that Robin of Loxley is competing in.
- Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) – Sean Young plays Lt. Lois Einhorn, who is really a football player named Ray Finkle in disguise.
- Ed Wood (1994) – Directed by Tim Burton, the biopic stars Johnny Depp as the famous low-budget transvestite filmmaker.
- Junior (1994) – Arnold Schwarzenegger disguises himself to hide in a women's shelter during the last few months of an experimental male pregnancy.
- The Brady Bunch Movie (1995) – RuPaul Charles appears in drag as high school guidance counselor, Mrs. Cummings.
- Brain Candy (1996) – Several female characters played by The Kids in the Hall, a Canadian comedy troupe.
- Con Air (1997) – Renoly Santiago appears as Ramon 'Sally-Can't Dance' Martinez – an effeminate, transvestite inmate who appears sexually subservient to his fellow detainees.
- The Fifth Element (1997) – Chris Tucker appears as Ruby Rod, a "RuPaul/Dennis Rodman" inspired media sensation who tags along with Corbin Dallas on his mission to save the earth.
- Entre las piernas (Between Your Legs) (1998) – Victor Rueda passes as a woman in this Spanish drama.
- Wild Wild West (1999) - U.S. Marshal Artemus Gordon (Kevin Kline) disguises himself as a prostitute. Jim West (Will Smith) also appears as a belly dancer to rescue U.S. Marshal Artemus Gordon from antagonist Arliss Loveless (Kenneth Branagh).
- 100 Girls (2000) – Jonathan Tucker's character Matthew dresses in drag.
- Charlie's Angels (2000) – Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz are disguised as men to infiltrate a corporate headquarters.
- The Last of the Blonde Bombshells (2000) – Ian Holm plays Patrick, who attempted to avoid enlistment during World War II by dressing as a woman.
- Pitch Black (2000) – Rhiana Griffith portrays Jack / Jackie.
- Wonder Boys (2000) – Michael Cavadias's character Tony/Antonia is a part-time transvestite.
- Sweet November (2001) – Sara's two confidantes, Chaz and Brandon, are gay transvestites.
- Camp (2003) – One of the main characters, Michael, gets beaten up for wearing a dress, fishnet stockings, and high heels to his high school prom. Later on in the film, in his birthday party at camp, all his friends dress in drag as part of the celebration. Because of this, the camp director is on a crusade to be more like a normal summer camp.
- The Mudge Boy (2003) – Duncan Mudge (Emile Hirsch) wears his deceased mother's wedding dress.
- L'île de Black Mor (The Island of Black Mor) (2004) – In Jean-François Laguionie's motion picture, Petit Moine (Little Monk), captured by the pirates in a monastery, reveals to be a girl disguised as a boy, which leads to many arguments, since women on board are forbidden by pirate law.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) – Éowyn dresses as a soldier to be allowed to fight with the men.
- Seeing Other People (2004) – The female main character recalls that one of her first experiences of sexual petting was a lesbian posing as a male.
- Rent (2005) – One of the main characters, Angel, is a drag queen.
- Robots (2005) – Fender, voiced by Robin Williams, slowly unleashes his cross-dressing tendencies.
- The Producers (2005) – The gay director, Roger De Bris, wears a dress when he is supposed to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia.
- The World's Fastest Indian (2005) – Tina, the transgender motel clerk, played by Chris Williams, befriends Bert Munro, played by Anthony Hopkins, and helps him cope with being in Los Angeles for the first time.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) – Elizabeth Swann dresses as a man so she can go to sea in pursuit of Will Turner.
- Offside (2006) – An Iranian girl disguises herself as a boy to go attend the 2006 World Cup qualifying match between Iran and Bahrain.
- Stardust (2007) – Captain Shakespeare is a closeted cross-dresser.
- Rush Hour 3 (2007) – Detective James Carter disguises himself as supporting character Genevieve to get himself into a building to help Chief Inspector Lee and save Lee's niece Soo Yung.
- Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007) – When he is surrounded by police motorcycles, Mr. Bean cross-dresses to trick the police.
- La Vie en Rose (2007) – Edith Piaf played by Marion Cotillard is briefly employed at a bar alongside female impersonators.
- The Dark Knight (2008) – Heath Ledger as The Joker disguises himself as a nurse in the very hospital he's decided to blow up.
- The Gamers: Dorkness Rising (2008) – Director Matt Vancil A male gamer rather unsuccessfully plays a female character.
- Rage (2009) – Jude Law plays Minx, a transvestite supermodel.
- Denizen (2010) – The lead character (J.A. Steel) is a lesbian with a cross-dressing father, who is a general in the US Army.
- Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) - Sherlock Holmes disguises as a woman
Comedic element in documentary
- In the documentary, Giuliani Time, there are excerpts from Rudy Giuliani's appearance in a video, which was shown for the occasion of an Inner Circle press dinner.
Milton Berle was one of the most famous early cross-dressing comedians in skits and such on his NBC shows from 1948 to 1956. Harvey Korman played a hefty Jewish mother character on The Carol Burnett Show. Flip Wilson created the memorable recurring character Geraldine Jones on The Flip Wilson Show. The first episode of the Blackadder II series ends with Blackadder's servant, Baldrick, acting as bridesmaid, and Lord Flashheart swapping clothes and running off with Blackadder's bride. Some other comedy sketch shows, such as Monty Python's Flying Circus, Little Britain, The League of Gentlemen, Saturday Night Live and The Kids in the Hall routinely feature visual cross-dressing, with men dressing as women and speaking in falsetto. Not to be outdone in this regard, the (female) British team of French and Saunders have produced many sketches in which one or both of the actresses portray men. Rudy Giuliani appeared on Saturday Night Live dressed as a woman.
Australian male comedian Barry Humphries has appeared as Dame Edna in several shows. British stand-up comedian and actor Eddie Izzard, who describes himself as an 'executive' or 'action' transvestite and regularly cross-dresses both on and off stage, has acted in several films (including most recently Valkyrie), as well as releasing his stand-up work on video and DVD (Live at the Ambassadors (1993), Unrepeatable (1994), Definite Article (1996), Glorious (1997), Dress to Kill (1999), Circle (2002), and Sexie (2003)).
Programs that feature cross-dressing
- The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince (2007) – The main character pretends to be a boy in order to obtain a job at a coffee shop that only hires men.
- Angry Boys (2011) - Chris Lilley cross-dresses as two characters, Ruth (Gran) Sims and Jen Okazaki in this Australian comedy show.
- Are You Being Served? often features John Inman taking on female roles. Some of the other cast members such as Frank Thornton occasionally appear in drag as well.
- Arrested Development – Tobias Fünke (played by David Cross) disguises himself as a British nanny named Mrs. Featherbottom in order to maintain a relationship with his estranged family. (This is a direct reference to the film Mrs. Doubtfire). This development is an outcropping of the fact that, throughout the series, Tobias exhibits signs of being a latent homosexual.
- In Axis Powers: Hetalia Poland crossdresses as a hobby and has a "valley girl" accent.
- Blackadder has several cross-dressing incidences.
- In "Bells", Kate (Gabrielle Glaister) dresses up as "Bob" in order to earn money working as a valet for Lord Blackadder, who finds himself attracted to this young "boy", eventually discovering Kate's identity and arranging a marriage, in which Baldrick takes the role of a bridesmaid. Lord Flashheart interrupts and steals away "Bob", but not before exchanging clothing with her.
- In "Chains", Prince Ludwig the Indestructible (Hugh Laurie) impersonates Queenie with a perfect disguise (really Laurie overdubbing Miranda Richardson).
- In "Amy and Amiability" from Blackadder the Third, Amy Hardwood (Miranda Richardson) assumes the role of a highwayman in order to get money for her bankrupt father.
- Kate returns in "Major Star" from Blackadder Goes Forth as Bob Parkhurst, driver for General Melchett. Also, Lieutenant George (Hugh Laurie in a different role) dresses in drag as "Georgina" for a music-hall show, put on to entertain the troops. He inadvertently draws the amorous attentions of Melchett. "Georgina" is only able to escape Melchett's efforts at marriage through a report from Captain Blackadder, that she wandered into no-man's land and trod on a cluster of landmines.
- Black Butler (2010) - The character Grell Sutcliff is a cross-dressing man. As well as Ciel in one episode.
- Bosom Buddies – Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari star as two single men who must regularly disguise themselves as women, in order to live in a ladies-only hotel, the only apartment they can afford.
- Boston Legal character Clarence Bell is a transvestite client who came for legal help after being fired from his job. He later joined the firm as a legal assistant and eventually as a lawyer.
- Boy Meets World – Different characters cross-dress in later episodes.
- Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures (2011) in the episode "Epic Girls" Bucket and Skinner disguise themselves as girls in order to sneak into a party. They are also shown trying on different dresses.
- In season 4 of Criminal Minds Jackson Rathbone plays a janitor at a hotel with split-personality disorder. The character, Adam, is a shy, abused, withdrawn young man. His alter-personality, is a strong, confident, southern women named Amanda. Adam/Amanda tries to kill his/her father because of all of the abuse suffered. Afterwards 'Amanda' becomes the dominant personality. At the end of the episode 'Amanda' is shown to have undergone a transformation, complete with make-up, a long curled wig, and pink clothing.
- Crusoe (2008) – A recurring character Oliver is revealed to actually be a woman named Olivia (played by Mía Maestro). Crusoe discovered her one day when she was bathing for the first time on the island after being aboard the ship for so long. She pretends to be Oliver and helps the doctor for her personal safety from the male crew.
- Cybersix from the 1999 serial and the comic, dresses as a male teacher named Adrian Seidelman, in order to escape Von Richter (her creator).
- Dårfinkar & dönickar – The main character Simone is mistaken for a boy on her first day at a new school when she does not correct her teacher for mispronouncing her name as Simon.
- Degrassi: The Next Generation (renamed Degrassi from the tenth season) features a transgender student in season 10, Adam Torres (portrayed by Jordan Todosey). Adam is biologically female, but he identifies as male and dresses as a boy. Adam wants to keep the fact that he's transgender a secret, and hopes that the people he meets will see him as male.
- Dexter's Laboratory – Many episodes feature Dexter in drag. Examples being Dimwit Dexter, Remember Me?, Tribe Called Girl, and The Big Sister.
- Doctor Who
- In the 1966 story 'The Highlanders' The second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) dresses as an old washerwoman as a ruse to try and find his companions in a crowded Tavern in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden
- In 1973 in 'The Green Death' the third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) disguises himself as a cleaning lady to infiltrate Global Chemicals, where he engages in banter with the UNIT operative Mike Yates and refers to his plastic bucket as his 'handbag'. Both these interludes of 'cross dressing' were played mainly for their comic value amid serious story-lines.
- Dragon Ball GT
- In the episode ″Trunks the Bride″ Trunks was forced to dress up as a bride to save a girl and planet's village after it was attacked by a monster named Zoonama who can create earthquakes. It was supposed to be Goku as the fake bride, but because he was too short to wear the dress he and Pan agreed on making him the fake bride.
- In ″Whiskers of Power″ Trunks as Trunksette becomes the ″bride″ for Zoonama as he is taken to Soonama's lair while there Goku, Pan, and Doma, the bride's fińacee, try to cut Zoonama's whiskers as he drinks a potion to knock him out, they only cut one and he wakes up! With Pan finding out that Zoonama can only predict earthquakes and not make them, Zoonama's lair, really a volcano, burst in to flames as Goku blast it with his Kamehameha destroying it as the episode ends with Goku, Pan, and a happy-to-be-out-that-dress Trunks is given a dragon ball though someone steals it.
- El Hazard – Makoto Mizuhara impersonates Princess Fatora of Roshtaria who is kidnapped by the Phantom Tribe because of his uncanny resemblance to the princess.
- The Drew Carey Show – Drew's brother, Steve Carey, is a cross dresser.
- The Famous Five TV series.
- The Flip Wilson Show (1970) - Flip Wilson plays Geraldine Jones as a recurring character in this sketch variety series.
- Friends – Chandler's father (played by Kathleen Turner) is a cross dresser.
- Fruits Basket – Ritsu Sohma dresses as female, because it makes him feel more confident, and comfortable. His cousins Ayame Sohma and his younger brother, Yuki occasionally cross-dress because they look good in female clothing. With the former it's voluntary, the latter less so.
- Fushigi Yuugi – Nuriko, one of the Suzaku Seven Celestial Warriors, dresses as a woman in memory of his dead sister. In the middle of the manga series, the Suzaku Warriors had had to dress up as women to avoid being killed in the island of Nyousei, where barbaric, cannibalistic, anti-masculinist women lived. This idea is excluded from the anime series, but revived in the omake.
- In the anime Genesis Climber Mospeada (also known as the New Generation segment of Robotech) the Character of Yellow Belmont/Lancer crossdressed as a means of disguise, as well as to perform in his rock singer identity (known as Yellow Dancer in Robotech.)
- Glee – In Season 3, episode 16 ("Saturday Night Glee-ver"), actor Alex Newell portrays Wade Adams, a member of rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline, who performs as his transgendered alter ego "Unique". In Season 4, Wade/Unique becomes a recurrent character.
- Golden Girls – Dorothy Zbronak's (Beatrice Arthur) brother Phil Petrillo, who was never seen on air, is a cross-dresser. When he died in the episode Ebbtide's Revenge, Phil's widow Angela had him buried in a teddy, to which Dorothy said to her roommates "it looks like he died in a Benny Hill sketch!".
- Gravitation – The main character, Shuichi Shindou, wears his sister's schoolgirl uniform and dons a maid outfit to try to get the attention of Eiri Yuki.
- H2O: Footprints in the Sand (2008) - Hamaji Yakumo is a boy who crossdresses as a girl.
- Hana-Kimi (1997–2004) - The manga series centers on Mizuki Ashiya, a Japanese girl who lives in the United States. One day, she sees a track and field competition on TV, and becomes attracted to one of the high jump competitors, Izumi Sano. She begins to idolize the young athlete and eventually transfers to Japan to attend the same school that Sano attends. There is a catch, however: Sano attends an all-boys high school, named Osaka Gakuen and Mizuki must disguise herself as a boy to enter. It has been adapted into four drama shows: Hanazakarino Kimitachihe (Taiwan), Hanazakari no Kimitachi e (Japan), Hanazakari no Kimitachi e (Japan) and To the Beautiful You (Korea).
- Happiness! (2006) - A secondary character of the series, Jun Watarase, is a boy who crossdresses as a girl.
- HeartCatch PreCure - For the first half of the series, Itsuki Myoudouin cross-dressed as a boy because her brother was too ill to be heir of their dojo.
- He's a Lady – The 2004 reality television series involves male contestants competing with each other to act as effeminately as possible, including cross-dressing.
- Hollyoaks character, Kris Fisher is a cross dresser
- iCarly - In the episode "iWant My Website Back", Spencer dressed as an old lady to fool Nevel into giving iCarly their URL back, but instead, he attracted an old man.
- InuYasha – Jekotsu of the Band of seven always wears womans clothes and repeatedly flirts with InuYasha.
- Invader Zim – In the episode "Walk for your lives" Zim uses a fat lady disguise to get rid of an explosion that is exploding really really slowly.
- I My Me! Strawberry Eggs – Main character Hibiki Amawa disguises himself as a woman to obtain a job as a teacher at school that will only hire women.
- In the British TV sit-com Keeping Up Appearances Hyacinth's brother-in-law Bruce is a crossdresser which Hyacinth tries not to let people find out about. In several episodes you can see Bruce in several of his outfits.
- Various characters from Kuroshitsuji including main character Ciel Phantomhive and Grell Sutcliff crosdress in some episodes and the OVAs.
- Leonardo – Lisa disguises herself as a boy (Tomaso) so she may study art under Andrea del Verrocchio.
- Lilo & Stitch – Agent Pleakley (voiced by Kevin McDonald) dresses in female clothing because he misunderstands human gender roles.
- Maid Sama! - Aoi Hyoudou, an internet celebrity, cross dresses so he won't be made fun of for liking cute, girl things.
- Maria Holic (2009) - Mariya Shidō is a boy who crossdresses as a girl.
- M*A*S*H – Klinger regularly cross-dressed as part of a futile attempt to be dismissed from the military.
- Megaman NT Warrior (Rockman EXE) – Villain Magnus Gauss (Gauss Magnets) cross-dresses as a woman and is obsessed with Dr. Wily. In one episode (unaired in the dub), three of the main characters cross-dress as idol singer Aki-chan to rescue a group of kidnapped girls.
- In Merlin's Apprentice a young girl Brianna disguises herself as a boy squire in order to avenge her family's loss of land.
- "Written in Blood", the second episode of crime drama Midsomer Murders, features a cross-dressing victim.
- Rich Fulcher plays as a woman named Eleanor in the season 3 episode "Eels" of the British comedy show The Mighty Boosh. Rich Fulcher continues to dress as Eleanor for stand-up comedy gigs, and refers to her as a whole separate person form himself. In the season 2 episode "Nanageddon", main characters Howard Moon (Julian Barratt) and Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) dress as nanas in order to sneak into a BINGO game and find the elusive demon, Nanatoo.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Gundam pilot Tieria Erde crossdresses in the second season in order to gain entrance to a party.
- Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Gundam pilot Judau Ashta crossdresses in the second season to free his female companions from a harem
- Along with the members of Monty Python's Flying Circus dressing up as women for comedic purposes, Monty Python featured a sketch called "The Lumberjack Song", about a lumberjack who likes to "put on women's clothing and hang around in bars."
- Minami-ke - Makoto regularly crossdresses as Mako-chan to get close a girl he likes. Another character, Tōma is a tomboy with three older brothers that regularly wears male clothing.
- Mr. Headmistress (1998) - TV Movie - Ex-con Harland Williams disguises himself as the new Headmistress of an all-girl school to avoid some thugs.
- In The Nick Cannon Show Nick dresses like a woman in 6 episodes.
- Otoboku – Mizuho Miyanokoji crossdresses to attend a girls' school as per his grandfather's wishes.
- One Piece – A Japanese anime and a manga about pirates includes a number of cross-dressing characters, the okamas. The most notable of them are Mr. 2 (a.k.a.Bon Clay) who can change his physical appearance and Emporio Ivankov, a queen of a drag queen kingdom, who can change his sex by controlling the hormones (and strongly resembles Tim Curry's Dr. Frank-N-Furter from the Rocky Horror Picture Show).
- Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru (2006) - The main character of the series, Mizuho Miyanokouji, is a boy who crossdresses as a girl.
- Ouran High School Host Club – Main character Haruhi Fujioka crossdresses regularly and is initially mistaken as male by the members of the Host Club. Also, various Host Club members crossdress on occasion, including manga episodes 10 (Hikaru, Kaoru, and Hunny as part of a plan to keep Haruhi away from Saint Lobelia's Zuka Club, and in the anime adaptation, Tamaki and Kyoya also crossdress for the same reason), 11 (Hikaru and Kaoru take turns dressing as the witch of the central wing), 15 (Hikaru, Kaoru, Tamaki, and Mori all dress in Alice costumes, and Kyoya portrays the Black Queen as well as Alice's mother in this chapter), and 20 (Hunny while going undercover with the Host Club to monitor Haruhi and Hikaru's date).
- Pokémon – James from Team Rocket, often appears in a dress or skirt, and in one of the banned episodes, he is even seen in a bikini complete with inflatable breasts. A partial list of characters including Ash Ketchum (three times), and Jessie and Meowth of Team Rocket, have also been known to cross-dress, although not as often as James. One of Misty's older sisters dress up as a prince and Gastly also once disguised as a beautiful maiden and an old woman at a summer festival.
- Pretty Cure (2004) – In one episode, Nagisa Misumi disguises herself as a man twice in an attempt to reclaim Mepple, who had been confiscated. In a later episode, Nagisa plays the part of Romeo in Verone Academy's school play of Romeo and Juliet.
- Princess Knight - Princess Sapphire disguises herself like a man to fight in her adventures.
- Princess Princess – Three students in an all-male school dress as girls to raise the spirits of the other students.
- Robin Hood (2006) – Djaq (played by Anjali Jay) is a Saracen who true name is Saffiya, but she disguises herself as a boy by adopting her dead twin brother's name and appearance.
- Ramen Fighter Miki – Episode 10 Part 1 includes a scene where Kankuro is wearing Miki's outfit while trying to beat her at her own game (that being ramen delivery). Then at the end of Episode 12 Part 1, he dons the disguise of an aristocratic lady to try to get Miki to challenge him.
- Ranma 1/2 – A Japanese Anime about a martial artist called Ranma who can transform into a girl. His gender is easily changed through means not under his control, so a costume which works on one gender often suddenly and comically becomes inappropriate cross-dressing. Also appearing in the anime and manga are Tsubasa Kurenai and Konatsu, who are male crossdressers, and Ukyo Kuonji, a female crossdresser and potential love interest of the gender-changing Ranma.
- The Riches (2007) - Sam Malloy (Aidan Mitchell), the youngest son of an Irish-American Traveller family, prefers cross-dressing. Even though under certain circumstances Sam can wear boys' clothes, he occasionally reverts to girls' clothing, much to the embarrassment of his family. (The Riches also features Eddie Izzard portraying Sam's non-transvestite dad, Wayne Malloy.)
- The Rose of Versailles (1979-1980) - Oscar François de Jarjayes, the main character of the series, is a woman who was raised as a boy and who crossdresses as a man.
- RuPaul's Drag Race (2009–present) a competition reality show premised around Drag Queens, men who cross-dress professionally as a means of entertainment. The show gives a deeper side to the art of female impersonation, as well as insight into the world of a gay drag artist.
- Sailor Moon – In one episode of the first season, Zoisite (one of the villains) disguises himself as Sailor Moon. In the "Sailor Moon Super S" season, Fish-Eye always dresses like a woman. In both "Sailor Moon S" and "Sailor Stars" seasons, Haruka Tenoh (Sailor Uranus) wears masculine clothes most of the time, and even chooses to wear the masculine version of her school uniform, to the point of being mistaken for a boy by other characters. In "Sailor Stars", Seiya, Taiki, and Yaten, became Sailor Starlights.
- Samantha oups! (2004–2007) - French comedy series starring two men who portray themselves as women—Samantha (played by David Strajmayster) and Chantal (Guillaume Carcaud).
- Sasameki Koto (2009) - Masaki Akemiya is a boy who crossdresses as a girl.
- Saved by the Bell – Zach and Screech occasionally dress as women either to disguise themselves or for comic effect.
- SheZow — A cartoon about a preteen boy who gains a magical ring that grants him superpowers, but since the ring is intended only for a girl, his superhero form is cross-dressed.
- In The Simpsons episode "Girls Just Want to Have Sums", Lisa Simpson disguises herself as a boy named Jake Boyman in order to learn math when the school is segregated by gender. Bart has also worn girls' clothes on several occasions.
- Something in the Air (2000–2002) – Features a cross-dressing politician, Doug Rutherford (played by Roger Oakley).
- SpongeBob SquarePants – SpongeBob has dressed like a woman in several episodes. His best friend Patrick Star cross dresses in order to protect himself from an assassin in the episode: "That's No Lady".
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has on several occasions featured characters cross dressing. In Profit and Lace, the character Quark dresses as a woman to prevent an enemy of his to ascend to the power of Grand Nagus. In another Ferengi-related episode, Rules of Acquisition, a female Ferengi crossdresses because females are not permitted to earn profit in the Ferengi culture. "Rules of Acquisition" is also one of the few episodes that references how the Federation views homosexuality when the character Dax discusses that it's a normal thing for a man to be in love with another man (She doesn't know that the man she is chatting with at the time is really a woman crossdressed).
- On the The Suite Life on Deck, Bailey pretended to be a boy so she could attend Seven Seas High on the SS Tipton because all of the girls rooms were taken. She becomes Zack's roommate and he agrees to keep it a secret. It is quickly found that Bailey is actually a girl and she ends up rooming with London.
- The Suite Life of Zack & Cody - Both Zack and Cody (played by real life twins Cole and Dylan Sprouse) crossdress in several episodes for numerous reasons; one most notably being Cody entering a beauty pageant for young girls while Zack approves of it because the first prize is a new bike.
- Summer Heights High (2007) - Chris Lilley cross-dresses for the character of Ja'mie King in this Australian comedy, she is often seen wearing a green school dress.
- Tipping the Velvet (2002) – A coming of age story about a young woman named Nan (Rachael Stirling) who falls in love with a male impersonator.
- Twin Peaks (1990–1991) – The character Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie) disguises as Japanese investor Mr Tojamura, Denise/Dennis Bryson (David Duchovny) is a male character who wear women's clothes because it relaxes him, and at one point Windom Earle (Kenneth Welsh) impersonates the Log Lady.
- We Can Be Heroes (2005) - Chris Lilley cross-dresses for two characters, Pat Mullins and Ja'mie King in this Australian mockumentary, the first show that Chris Lilley created.
- Work It (2012) - an American television sitcom about two men who must dress as women in order to keep a job in a bad economy.
- World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler Dustin Rhodes portrayed "Goldust", a gimmick that involved crossdressing as well as former wrestler Vito LoGrasso.
- Young Americans (2000) TV series in which one of the female characters poses as a boy.
- You Can't Do That On Television – Several comedy sketches, particularly in the early years, featured boys in the cast wearing dresses for various reasons.
- You Rang, M'Lord? – Cissy is a lesbian cross-dresser, complete with monocle, cravat and short hair.
- You're Beautiful (2009) – A young nun cross-dresses as a boy to impersonate her brother in a boy band. You're Beautiful was remade into the 2013 Taiwanese series Fabulous Boys.
- Yu Yu Hakusho – In The Deadly Triad episode (first season of the series), when Yusuke Urameshi fights against the Three Devils, he finds that Miyuki, one of Three Demons, is biologically a man, but in Miyuki's heart (s)he is a woman. However, this "discovery" was edited out of the English version of this series.
- Zoey 101 In one episode of this show Lola disguises herself as a boy to prove boys can still act the same if a girl is around.
- In Zoids: Chaotic Century episode 28 "Run, Wolf!" Prince Rudolph Zeppelin III is disguised as a girl in order to hide his identity.
- Cross-dressing in literature
- Cross-gender acting
- List of transgender-related topics
- Transgender in film and television
- Dårfinkar & dönickar on IMDb
- Character Description: Miyuki. Absolute Anime web. Retrieved on July 29, 2009
- Cutting the Yu Yu Hakusho (24&25 EP). Anime News Network. Retrieved on July 29, 2009.
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