67-Year-Old Lily Savage Comedian Paul O'Grady Has Died

67-Year-Old Lily Savage Comedian Paul O'Grady Has Died

Updated on March 30, 2023 10:48 AM by Andrew Koschiev

It was announced Wednesday that British television host Paul O'Grady, 67, passed away on Tuesday. The drag queen Lily Savage was his most famous persona. Portasio, who married the comedian in 2017, said, "My deepest condolences go out to the Portasio family on Paul's unexpected passing on Sunday."

The statement continued, "He will be greatly missed by his friends, family, and animals, as well as a thousand others who have enjoyed his humor, wit, and compassion. He would greatly appreciate the love you all showed him. Following O'Grady's death, the royal family stated recognition of his work at Battersea Dog & Cats Home.

A lot of memories and laughter were made

(Image Credits: Yahoo Movies UK)

It is with great sadness that we hear of the passing of Paul O'Grady, a great friend and supporter of @Battersea, who brought a lot of laughter and many memories and smiles." It was reported that the Queen Consort would privately share her condolences with Paul's family in the near future.

A TV personality, he had been performing in Annie in the U.K. at the time of his unexpected death. On March 13, in his final Instagram post, he wrote, "I am delighted to play Hannigan again after such a long time, especially with such an incredible and lovely cast."

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The passing of the man stuns and saddens him

"All at Annie the Musical are stunned and saddened by the passing of Paul O'Grady," according to a statement released Wednesday following the news of O'Grady's death. This is an amazing story, and we will greatly miss Miss Hannigan, who is hilarious, generous, and irreplaceable.

It was his Lily Savage persona that led to his success as a radio and television host in the 1980s. The Big Breakfast from 1995 to 1996 and Blankety Blank from 1997 to 1999 were hosted by Savage as the British morning show. In the U.K. at the time, O'Grady's portrayal of the drag persona was groundbreaking, according to RuPaul's Drag Race U.K.'s Danny Beard.

A family's Journey To adoption

Aside from hosting his daytime and late-night talk shows, he hosted a 13-year stint as a Sunday afternoon presenter on BBC Radio 2 and retired from the drag persona in 2004. The award-winning show For the Love of Dogs was hosted by O'Grady from 2012 to 2022, during which he graced British television screens. 

The show saw him meet the dogs brought into the Battersea rescue home and trace their journeys towards adoption in his home — he kept dogs, pigs, and bats, among other animals, according to The Guardian. His 160th anniversary was marked last year by the queen consort, who joined him for one episode. BBC reports that O'Grady suffered two heart attacks in 2002 and 2006. However, he was reportedly in good health at his death.

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