Michelle DuBarry is the stage name of Russell Alldread (born November 23, 1931), a Canadian drag queen, who was awarded the title of World's Oldest Performing Drag Queen by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2015. However, the distinction was disputed by another performer, who was subsequently awarded the title in 2016.
Born in Bowmanville, Ontario in 1931, Alldread was a performer in childhood, winning an award for his singing at the Port Hope Music Festival in 1939. Around the same time, he had his first experience dressing in drag, when his cousins dressed him in a strapless gown for a photo shoot. He continued to be involved in theatre until moving to Toronto at age 18.
After divorcing from his wife in 1961, Alldread began performing in drag shows, initially under the name Anita Modé. He adopted the name Michelle DuBarry in 1969 upon joining the Phase One drag troupe, taking his new performing surname from the 1943 film DuBarry Was a Lady. When his colleagues in Phase One later moved to Vancouver, DuBarry formed a new trio, The Great Impostors, with Tammy Autumn and Rusty Ryan.
In his day job, Alldread worked as a women's shoe salesman.
As DuBarry, he has been involved in the Trillium Monarchist Society and the Expressions Club, and has held the title of Empress of Toronto in the Imperial Court System. He continues to perform as a drag queen in Toronto, including bar shows and charity fundraisers for causes such as HIV/AIDS awareness and Gilda's Club. DuBarry served as grand marshal of Toronto's Pride parade in 2007.
Following the announcement of DuBarry's Guinness distinction, some residents of Portland, Oregon argued that the title should instead be awarded to Darcelle XV, who is a year older than Alldread. Darcelle was awarded the title by Guinness on August 15, 2016.
- "On the Town with Michelle DuBarry". National Post, November 24, 2011.
- "Michelle DuBarry named world's oldest performing drag artist". The Independent, November 30, 2015.
- "Guinness Names Toronto Resident 'World's Oldest Performing Drag Queen'". The Advocate, December 3, 2015.
- "Michelle DuBarry: Was, and is, a lady". Daily Xtra, November 28, 2001.
- "Toronto drag queen Michelle DuBarry honoured with Guinness World Record". Global News, December 1, 2015.
- "Marching on in fine fashion; Popular drag queen chosen to head parade in recognition of her leadership, charity work". Toronto Star, June 14, 2007.
- "Fourscore and DuBarry". Daily Xtra, November 17, 2011.
- "Toronto’s oldest drag queen takes world record". Toronto Star, November 29, 2015.
- "Guinness World Records names Toronto’s Michelle DuBarry oldest drag queen". Pop Goes the News, November 25, 2015.
- "Oldest drag queen". Guinness World Records, August 15, 2016.