Friday, June 21, 2024

Larry Kramer, Fierce AIDS Activist and Playwright Author of “The Normal Heart,” Dies of Pneumonia at Age 84


Larry Kramer, the most ferocious AIDS activist in history, and playwright author of “The Normal Heart,” has died at age 84. The cause of death was pneumonia. He lived 30+ years beyond most of his peers, incredibly, because he was a standard bearer and had to be here.

In a strange twist of events, we knew his mother, Rhea, who was just like him– articulate, smart, activist. She and my grandmother became very friendly in assisted living in the 90s. They were each in their 90s! She was incredibly proud of both her sons, Larry and Arthur, a lawyer who also represented Larry and is portrayed in his work.

Larry wrote a play about her called “The Destiny of Me,” and we all went to see it– Rhea, too– at the Lucille Lortel Theater. I have a feeling they are reunited and fighting–in a good way–in heaven, also with Arthur, who predeceased him years ago. Quite a family. They are all missed.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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