Romy Haag (born January 1, 1951 in Scheveningen, near The Hague/Den Haag in the Netherlands) is a dancer, singer, actress and former nightclub manager as well one of the most famous transsexuals in Germany and Continental Europe.
Romy Haag was born as Edouard Frans Verbaarsschott, his father was a billboard painter and his mother a shop assistant. Soon after his birth there were discussions of having gender-correctional surgery and in his early teens the effeminate boy began developing breasts. Verbaarsschott was severely bullied at school for his physical appearance and also his parents found it difficult to deal with the situation. Haag therefore took the decision to leave home at the age of 13 and started working in the world of variety shows and circus.
Veerbaarsschott started his career with Circus Strassburger, he led children's matinées working as a clown. At the age of 16 he left the circus, joining a trapeze artist working at the Strassburger and relocated to Paris, where he began his career as an exotic dancer and female impersonator at famous nightclub Alcazar. It was during this time Veerbaarsschott took the stage name Romy Haag, and started her life as a woman both on and off stage.
In 1972 an American show manager offered Haag a tour booking and she performed with her show "Berlin Chanson" at Fire Island, in Long Island and Atlantic City. Here she met and fell in love with a street musician from Berlin and decided to move back to Europe to live in the German capital with him.
In 1974, at the age of 23, Haag opened the club and cabaret Chez Romy Haag in Berlin, which became Germany's most popular nightspot during the disco era. Many celebrities were regular guests, such as German singer Udo Lindenberg, Zizi Jeanmaire, Bryan Ferry, Freddie Mercury, Lou Reed and Mick Jagger with whom Haag also had a brief romance. Also David Bowie was struck by Haag's beauty and the two had a love affair which resulted in him moving to Berlin. At the same time Haag went on her first nationwide German tour with her cabaret. .
In 1977 she released her first single "Liege-Samba", composed by Udo Lindenberg and later she joined him on tour. The following year saw her second single "Superparadise" being released. In 1979 New York's Profile Gallery presented a photographic exhibition in honour of her and in 1981 she released her first album, entitled "So Bin Ich" (translated as "That's Me"), a collaboration with renowned German composer Klaus Hoffmann.
In 1983 she sold her nightclub and set out on a year-long discovery journey of the world. As gender-changing surgery had become more advanced, she finally decided to undergo a complete sex change operation in Switzerland at the age of 33. Back in Germany she started another phase in her career in 1986 as she toured Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the United States with her show City In The Night.
Haag has acted in 26 movies in Germany, among them "Plastik Fieber", "Zum Beispiel Otto Spalt" and "Mascara“ with Charlotte Rampling, and has released 17 albums, such as "Flugblatt" and musical "Tell". In the mid 80's she became the lead figure of Queen Zero, a performance art video installation at New York's Museum Of Modern Art.
Today Romy Haag is mainly working as an actress, entertainer and chanson singer.
In 1997 she received the "Jackie O. Music Award" in New York in recognition of her personal and thoughtful interpretations of Berthold Brecht's music. The same year she accepted the prestigious Teddy Award at Berlin's International Film Festival, in honour of her lifetime achievements in films concerning gay, lesbian and transgender issues.
In 1999 she released her autobiography Eine Frau und mehr (translated as A Woman And Then Some), in which she tells her life story, about her many famous acquaintances in the world of music and entertainment as well as her somewhat complicated relationship with French entertainer and also alleged transsexual Amanda Lear.