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Kathy Griffin’s moving tribute to Rip Taylor: “(He) had to figure out how to be gay and a public figure back in the 1950s”

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I want to take a moment to honor the memory of one of the true greats. Rip Taylor was a legend before I came to Hollywood 40 years ago, so getting to meet him and become his friend was surreal. I was always laughing around him. A couple of weekends ago, I had the great privledge to speak at his memorial service. The room was FULL of eclectic, legendary talent. Everyone from Ann-Margaret to Julie Newmar to his life partner of 44 years, Robby, were in attendance to celebrate Rip’s life. To think that this talented man had to figure out how to be gay and a public figure back in the 1950s has never escaped me. I’m sure he battled a lot of nay-sayers. I’m sure he had some dark days. Regardless, he never let the sparkle in his eye (or on his wardrobe) fade. He constantly reminded me to keep my chin up and keep people laughing. Thank you for the laughs, old friend.

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