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Vale Renée Scott
Melbourne’s LGBTI community is mourning the loss of Pokeys and Les Girls legend Renée Scott who died on Sunday, March 25. She was 61.
The drag legend started her performing career with Les Girls at the Ritz in 1973 where she became renowned for her Night and Day performance with Graham Pengilly.
In 1977, Scott was invited to perform the number at the then new Sunday night event, Pokeys at the Prince of Wales Hotel.
Scott became a mainstay of the popular party, performing routinely for more than a decade.
For 14 years, Scott wowed Pokeys patrons with the likes of Debra Le Gae, Terri Tinsel and Michelle Tozer until the popular Sunday night closed in 1992.
Scott returned to the Prince of Wales Hotel in the ’90s and also donated her services to the Melbourne Rainbow Awards and the Fantasy Ball over the years.
Close friend and former dance partner Graham Pengilly said Scott was loyal and honest with an “incredibly dry wit”.
“For me, [she] was a vunerable person, I think that’s why she was such a good performer,” he said.
“She was, I have to say, the best dance partner I’ve ever had.
“She had done ballroom dancing when she was younger but she just had a real flair, that panache that you talk about.
“People talk about the ‘it’ factor on stage — she just had an ability to transport you beyond that, it became a much more credible performance.”
“That’s why people found her quite moving in her performance.
“I’d have to say apart from her poodles, apart from her dogs, I think performing was something she just loved.
“It was the one chance where she got the opportunity to show who she was as a person and a performer.
“I’m ever grateful for her because it was through her that I came to accept my life and myself.”
A special thanks to Alan Mayberry for additional information.
Photo: Gavin Brown