Obituaries

Star of Stage and Screen Rip Taylor Dies

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Star of Stage and Screen Rip Taylor Dies

BroadwayWorld is sad to report that Rip Taylor, known for his appearances on both stage and screen died on Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 84 in Beverly Hills CA. Rip played on Broadway and toured the country as the lead role in productions such as SUGAR BABIES, ANYTHING GOES, OLIVER (as Fagan), PETER PAN (as Captain Hook), and A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

Rip was one of television's most recognizable personalities. He was born in Washington DC becoming a Congressional Page as a teen until he served in the armed forces during the Korean War. He began entertaining during his time in the military and pursued it after he left, becoming known as th crying comedian. A guest star with over 2,000 television appearances under his belt, Rip brought his wild energy to The Gong Show, Password, The Merv Griffin Show, The Mike Douglas Show, The Tonight Show, Late Night with David Letterman and to the coveted center square on Hollywood Squares.

Rip became a pop culture icon as a result of such campy films such as Barris' THE GONG SHOW MOVIE; the "Exorcist" spoof, REPOSSESSED with Linda Blair and Leslie Nielsen; as well as the foreign-made THE SILENCE OF THE HAMS. Frequently appearing on television, he appeared in everything from variety shows to talk shows to sitcoms like THE MONKEES, THE BRADYS and more. Perhaps Rip's greatest impact in television was when he was picked by Chuck Barris to host The $1.98 BEAUTY SHOW. The campy "beauty and talent contest" brought Rip icon status as he served as ringmaster, gloriously reveling in the glitter and kitsch of "The World's Tackiest TV Show." His first Las Vegas appearance was in THE Eleanor Powell SHOW at the Dunes. This, in turn, led to sharing the nightly stage with such stars as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Debbie Reynolds, Ann-Margret and Judy Garland, among many, many others including a rare appearance with Hollywood's greatest bombshell, for which he receive a personalized photo signed "Love & Luck to my baby Doll Chuck Taylor, Love Marliyn Monroe."

For decades, Rip maintained his status as one of the top headliners in Las Vegas. He was named "Entertainer of the Year" three times in a row, spent a year headlining at The Flamingo Hotel's Rockettes Extravaganza, and in 2002 brought Rip Taylor'S CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR to The Rio.

In the early 1960s, he provided additional voices for THE JETSONS and continued to make voice-over work a viable means of income. His voice can be heard in such animated films as DUCKTAILS THE MOVIE: TREASURE OF THE LOST LAMP, TOM AND JERRY: THE MOVIE and SCOOBY-DOO AND THE MONSTER OF MEXICO. Rip was nominated for an Emmy award for voicing the role of "Uncle Fester" in the animated series, THE ADDAMS FAMILY. In addition to comedy and music, Rip was an accomplished "legitimate" actor. He played Demi Moore's surly boss in INDECENT PROPOSAL, and played Kate Hudson's father in the Rob Reiner film, ALEX AND EMMA.

Rip appeared with Ed Asner and Cloris Leachman in the Funny Or Die video "Ehhhhhhhh.com," as well as fan favorites such as Dawn Wells, Lee Meriwether, Bruce Vilanch and others in SILENT, BUT DEADLY and his highly publicized appearance in JACKASS, the legendary King of Confetti was been introduced to a new generation of fans. Rip Taylor has dazzled audiences worldwide in a career that has spanned over forty years. It is no exaggeration to say that Rip Taylor has succeeded in every facet of the entertainment industry. Rip was working on bringing his one-man show IT AIN'T ALL CONFETTI to the New York Stage after its tremendous success in Los Angeles. The one man show spawned a critically acclaimed documentary entitled "RIP, RIP, HORRARY."

He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Live Theatre at 6625 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. An honor he was so proud of that he scheduled trips to buffed and clean his star on a regular basis. Rip Taylor felt fortunate to have become a madcap mainstay in show business. Rip Taylor has donated a large part of his time not only to AIDS causes, but to numerous other charitable causes including The Thalians, The Screen Actors Guild, The Actors' Home, and The Friars Charitable Trust. He has also been a welcome mainstay on "The Jerry Lewis Telethon."

He was survived by longtime partner, Robert Fortney. In lieu of flowers they request donations be made to the Thalians (www.thalians.org).

No services are planned at this time.

Photo Courtesy Harlan Boll



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