At 13 he left school and worked with Circus Strassburger as a clown.
At 16 Romy was working as a female impersonator at the Club Alcazar and Le Carrousel in Paris.
After a friend set their apartment on fire, she stowed away on a merchant ship to the US, and found work performing at Fire Island and Atlantic City, where she met and loved a Berlin street singer and they moved to West Berlin together.
At the age of 23, they opened a nightclub, Chez Romy Haag featuring Disco and mainly transgender artists – one of whom was Peki d’Oslo (Amanda Lear) whom Haag had met in Paris. The club became the place for celebrities to go. David Bowie and Mick Jagger had affairs with Romy. She released her first single, “Liege-Samba”, in 1977, and her first album, So Bin Ich, in 1981.
In 1983 she sold her nightclub and spent a year touring the world. On return she had sex-change surgery in Switzerland.
She then toured with her stage act. She has been in 26 films, mainly German, including Mascara, 1987, with Charlotte Rampling and Eva Robin’s. She has released 17 albums.
In the mid-1980s she was the lead figure of Queen Zero, a performance-art video intallation at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. In 1997 she received the Jackie O. Music Award in New York for her interpretations of Berthold Brecht’s music. Also the same year she was awarded the Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival for lifetime achievements in GLBT film. In 1999 she published her autobiography.
- Romy Haag with Martin Schacht. Eine frau und mehr. Berlin: Quadriga 319 pp 1999. Autobiography.
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