RuPaul, The Vivienne, and More Tribute U.K. Drag Icon Paul O'Grady

The British TV presenter and comedian, beloved for his alter ego Lily Savage, died at the age of 67.

Legends are honoring a legend.

On Tues, March 28, U.K. national treasure Paul O'Grady died “unexpectedly but peacefully” at the age of 67. O'Grady was a beloved TV presenter and comedian for decades, and he helped bring drag into the British mainstream with his popular drag persona Lily Savage.

“We ask, at this difficult time, that whilst you celebrate his life you also respect our privacy as we come to terms with this loss,” O'Grady's husband, Andre Portasio, said in a statement. “He will be greatly missed by his loved ones friends, family, animals, and all those who enjoyed his humor, wit, and compassion.” 

“I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years."

Many fans and famous friends posted tributes to the stage and screen star, including one of the world's most famous drag queens, RuPaul, who shared a picture of O'Grady as Lily Savage with the caption: "A brilliant life, a brilliant career."

Russell T. Davies, the creator of Queer as Folk and It's a Sin, also posted an online tribute, writing: "What a star. What a lovely man. He was ferocious in the fight against AIDS; he made everyone love drag."

Even though O'Grady retired from performing as Lily Savage years ago, his stage persona paved the way for drag queens and inspired an entire generation of LGBTQ people, like Attitude magazine's editor-in-chief, Cliff Joannou who said:

“Lily Savage was one of the first relatable examples of drag culture I ever saw on TV. O’Grady used his platform to do so much good, for the queer community and others. He showed me that you could be the most fabulous freak, and also have the greatest humanity.”

O'Grady hosted multiple British talk and game shows including The Paul O’Grady Show, Blankety Blank, and Blind Date. He was also an outspoken activist in the fight against AIDS, wrote a four-volume memoir, and in 2008 he was awarded an MBE for "his services to entertainment."

On Instagram, Chatty Man host, and friend of O'Grady's, shared: "Having dinner with Paul O’Grady was the closest any of us would get to having dinner with Dorothy Parker or Truman Capote - he would have you literally in hysterics regaling these showbiz anecdotes and quips from Marlene Dietrich to Cilla Black to The Royals to the Disappointer Sisters - it seemed like he knew everyone."

"He will be missed SO much, my friend asked him recently ‘do you think you’ll go to heaven Paul?’ Quick as a whip he replied ‘I hope not, I won’t know anyone’. You legend," Carr added.

Scroll through below to see more tributes to the beloved British icon.

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