Grand Marshal: Lea DeLaria

(Photo By Sophy Holland)

      Lea DeLaria is scheduled to be Grand Marshal of this year's Chicago 48th Annual Pride Parade on Sunday June 25.
      She is currently best known for her SAG Award-winning, standout role as Carrie "Big Boo' Black in the Netflix hit series "Orange is the New Black.'  However, her multifaceted career  as a comedian, actress and jazz musician has, in fact, spanned decades.

      DeLaria holds the distinction of being the first openly gay comic on television in America, which led to countless television and film roles portraying police lieutenants, PE teachers, and the lesbian who inappropriately hits on straight women. Her television credits include "Awkward," "Clarence," "Californication," " The Oblongs," "One Life to Live," "Law and Order SVU," "Will and Grace," "Friends," and "Matlock.," and her film credits include "First Wives Club," "Dear Dumb Diary,"  and "Edge of Seventeen."

      She's received Obie and Theater World Awards and a Drama Desk nomination for her portrayal of Hildy in the Public Theatre's revival of "On the Town," an Ovation nomination for  "The Boys From Syracuse," and has played both Eddie and Dr. Scott in the gender-bending Broadway musical "The Rocky Horror Show."

      DeLaria was the featured vocalist at the 50th anniversary Newport Jazz Festival, and she has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Chicago's Symphony Center, the Hollywood Bowl, Royal Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House.

      DeLaria has five records on the Warner Jazz and Classics label, and her book "Lea's Book of Rules for the World" is in it's third printing at Bantam Doubleday and Dell.

      Her sixth record, "House of David; delaria+bowie=jazz, was released in summer 2015 to critical acclaim.

      Lea DeLaria will be performing an evening of comedy of music at Ravinia's historic Martin Theatre on June 25. This show is 18+. Tickets and show information are available at

      Follow Lea on Twitter and Instagram @realleadelaria and Facebook. Her web site:

      Chicago Connection: Lea has been a long-time activist, who two years ago, received the Equality Illinois Freedom Award for her work as a cutting-edge performer who has used her talent to entertain and enlighten millions of Americans.

      On receiving the award at the 2015 Equality Illinois Gala in Chicago, DeLaria said, "As an out performer for over 33 years who made it her life's work to change peoples perception of butch, queer and LGBT, it is an honor for me to receive such recognition from my home state. I feel like I'm doing Belleville proud. Go Maroons !"

      Lea will be riding in a convertible near the front of the parade procession.