Turkish drag queen Seyfi Dursunoğlu, known as Huysuz Virgin, died of pneumonia aged 87
Seyfi Dursunoğlu, better known as Turkey’s most famous drag queen “Huysuz Virjin” (Grumpy Virgin), died on July 17 in hospital in Istanbul. He was 87.
Dursunoğlu, a household name who had captured the hearts of many, had been in intensive care for three days. He was hospitalized for 15 days for pneumonia and had been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Acıbadem Altunizade Hospital said in a written statement.
From the 1970s until the 2000s, Dursunoğlu produced entertainment programs for television in Turkey with his character Huysuz Virjin and has become a well-known entertainment figure in the country. Huysuz Virjin was a witty, but often grumpy, character who had a kinky sense of humor. The character was very much loved by the nation. But Huysuz began appearing less frequently after the mid-2000’s.
Born in 1932, Dursunoğlu was born into a religious family in the Black Sea province of Trabzon. He and his family later moved to Istanbul, where he started studying at the Heybeliada Military Marine High School at the request of his father. Later dropping out of that school, he transferred to Boğaziçi High School. He then went on to study English Language and Literature at university but had to quit school because of financial problems.
After completing his military service as a reserve officer in Istanbul’s Tuzla and Hadımköy districts, he became a civil servant with the Turkish Social Security Authority (SSK) for 18 years. He quit his monotonous job and created the legendary Huysuz Virjin character in 1970. First, he started performing in small clubs, but as his reputation grew within the entertainment world, he began receiving offers from larger clubs. He shared the stage with Turkey’s largest soloists at the İzmir Fair every year in Turkey’s western province.
He presented the program “Would You Dance with Huysuz?” in 2012 on private broadcaster Show TV. In the same year, he was a jury member in a competition program “Benzemez Kimse Sana” on Star TV, another private channel. In the final episode of the program, he took the stage as Huysuz Virgin and said that he would not be able to dance again due to his old age.
In an interview years ago, Dursunoğlu said that he had donated all his heritage to the Turkish Education Volunteers Foundation. “I did not want it to be heard. Some people say that I can make a program and work for them without being paid for a year. But the important thing is not to make free programs, but also to donate money. I will donate money and make a program if necessary. I donated my legacy to them,” he had said.
“It was very interesting how I decided to donate my money to the foundation. There is only a number difference in my phone number and theirs. So, people used to mistakenly call me and wake me up every morning thinking they called the foundation. So many people were calling. One day I called them to warn them and sort the problem out. They then invited me to the foundation. They showed me the works they had done, and I was very impressed. I followed their works for years and decided to donate to them,” he had recalled in the interview.