He\'s perhaps best known as Elton John\'s other half, so it\'s easy to underestimate David Furnish. But the Canadian business graduate has shown he\'s his own man, hugely popular among the celebrity set and a successful film producer and showbiz power-broker.
Toronto-born David met Elton John on October 30, 1993, when a mutual friend invited him to dinner at the singer\'s mansion. Discovering they had a lot in common the duo immediately hit it off and it wasn\'t long before the relationship became serious.
Soon David was meeting not only his high-profile partner\'s mum but also his A-list friends, such as Michael Jackson and George Michael.
At the time David, who was born on October 25, 1962, was a young advertising executive on the London board of international agency Ogilvy & Mather.
Raised in Ontario alongside brothers John and Peter by his pharmaceutical company director father Jack and homemaker mum Gladys, he\'d moved to the British capital after graduating in business from the University of Western Ontario in 1985.
Fifteen years younger than Elton, and a business professional with his own job, flat and car, David was very different to the singer\'s previous partners.
"He was a grown-up, and if I wanted to be in this relationship - which I did - then I would have to be grown-up and realise that there are two people in this relationship, not just Elton," the entertainer recalled in 2007.
Polite, mild-mannered and level-headed, David is the perfect foil to the flamboyant, outspoken musician, bringing as much to the partnership as his more famous other half. "It\'s a 50-50 relationship," insists Elton.
In 1994 David resigned from his advertising position, finding it difficult to balance work with the demands of his high-profile relationship.
Building on his existing keen interest in films, he took several courses at the British Film Institute and went on to set up his own production company, Rocket Pictures, with Elton\'s support.
His first project was 1997 venture Tantrums & Tiaras, an acclaimed \'warts and all\' fly-on-the-wall documentary about his superstar partner, which he directed. It was followed by two fashion documentaries and a role as producer on a pair of feature films, which included hit 2006 British comedy flick It\'s A Boy Girl Thing. He also came up with the idea for the hugely successful Billy Elliott The Musical, of which he is executive producer.
Despite a life lived out in the pages of glossy magazines, when David entered into a civil partnership with Elton on December 21, 2005, it was an ultra-private ceremony with just their parents, photographer Sam Taylor-Wood, her husband Jay Jopling, and David\'s dog Arthur as witnesses.
Hugely popular among the showbiz set in his own right, David is known for being excellent, witty company. He was Elizabeth Hurley\'s partner of choice at star-studded gatherings before her marriage to ex-husband Arun Nayar, and is a pal of the Duchess of York and her daughters.
Other royal chums include Prince Charles and Camilla, who invited the dapper Canuck and his partner to their wedding.
Away from the celebrity scene David is also involved in charity work. He sits on the board of the Elton John AIDS Foundation in both the UK and the US and regularly auctions off designer items from his wardrobe for good causes.
His only sadness was, he used to say, that he and Elton did not have children. And that was remedied on Christmas Day 2010 when a surrogate mother gave birth to their son, Zachary, who is a constant joy for both of them.