LONDON — Entertainer Paul O’Grady, who achieved fame as drag queen Lily Savage earlier than changing into a much-loved comic and host on British tv, has died. He was 67.
O’Grady’s accomplice Andre Portasio stated he died “unexpectedly however peacefully” on Tuesday night.
“He can be enormously missed by his family members, buddies, household, animals and all those that loved his humor, wit and compassion,” Portasio stated in a press release.
Born in Birkenhead, close to Liverpool, in 1955, O’Grady was working as a local-authority care employee when he started performing as Savage, a tart-tongued Liverpudlian drag queen.
Savage turned a fixture as a standup and talent-show host at London’s Royal Vauxhall Tavern, a landmark homosexual venue. O’Grady used his platform to talk out about LGBT rights on the top of the AIDS disaster, a time when the Conservative authorities of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was passing anti-gay legal guidelines.
Lily Savage moved into tv within the Nineties, together with a stint internet hosting discuss present “The Lily Savage Present.”
Later, as Paul O’Grady, he hosted discuss exhibits and gameshows together with “The Paul O’Grady Present,” “Blind Date” and “Blankety Clean,” in addition to a long-running program on BBC radio.
An animal lover, he additionally offered “For the Love of Canine,” which profiled the work of an animal rescue charity. Camilla, the queen consort, was a visitor on the present final 12 months.
Veteran gay-rights campaigner Peter Tatchell stated O’Grady “wasn’t only a good comic and broadcast persona however a a lot admired campaigner for LGBT+ equality and animal rights.”
“Paul was one of many loveliest individuals you possibly can ever meet,” Tatchell stated. “Everybody whose lives he touched will miss him enormously, as will those that loved his wit and admired his compassion.”
O’Grady is survived by Portasio, whom he married in 2017, and by a daughter from a earlier relationship.