FRIENDS and family celebrated the life of much-loved international entertainer Bunny Lane at an emotional funeral service in Benalmadena.
The comedian and actor, real name Barry Lane Hickey and best known for his legendary drag queen act, last week passed away aged 75 following a short illness.
Several hundred people attended the funeral yesterday (Thursday), with many converging outside the former Bunny’s Bar in Bonanza Square beforehand.
The venue is cemented in Costa del Sol folklore having been packed to the rafters on a nightly basis during its prime in the mid- 1990s to early 2000s.
Those among the crowd included Bunny’s husband and partner of 32 years Phil, his sister Patricia and brother-in-law Gerry, plus Ellie Peters and KT Peters with who Bunny formed a beloved triple act. When asked for his fondest memories of Bunny, Ellie – who flew in from Blackpool to pay his respects – told the RTN: “The laughs, really, we often had the most fun backstage!
“Bunny also did all he could to help other performers, which is rare in today’s industry, plus he did so much good work for local homeless children.
“He was just brilliant to work with and loved by everyone who knew him.” The hearse bearing Bunny’s body stopped outside the bar before leading those gathered to the Virgen del Carmen church, with some onlookers applauding during the short walk.
A stirring eulogy was read by retired cabaret artist and friend Iain Maxstead, while several of Bunny’s favourite numbers were played during the service, including ‘I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.’
The final song – Petula Clark’s The Show is Over – saw smiles and tears break out in equal measure as it ended with a standing ovation.
Bunny was born in Harrow, London, in 1942 and went on to grace stages in the UK, United States, Australia and Spain, where he remains well-known on the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca.
He also worked with Danny La Rue and appeared in several films, including Mary Poppins and Games Lovers Play with Joanna Lumley.