TV stars, human rights campaigners, the queen consort, and Animal rights charities have come together to honor the life of iconic British entertainer Paul O’Grady, who sadly passed away at the age of 67. O’Grady, known for his groundbreaking drag act as Lily Savage, left a lasting impact on British culture and the queer community.
Peter Tatchell, a human rights campaigner, praised O’Grady’s fierce commitment to his beliefs and principles. He described the entertainer as a kind, generous humanitarian who remained down-to-earth despite his fame. O’Grady was an outspoken opponent of the Thatcher government, particularly for their attacks on the LGBT+ community and the controversial Section 28.
Friends and colleagues remembered O’Grady as a champion for the underdog, often standing up for the vulnerable and misunderstood. Carol Vorderman, a television presenter, described him as a “massive talent” who fought for the weak and vulnerable like a lion.
Born in Birkenhead in 1955, O’Grady moved to London in his 20s and began his career as a social worker. His drag persona, Lily Savage, made her debut when O’Grady filled in for a sick act at a south London club. O’Grady retired Savage in 2004.
O’Grady’s husband, Andre Portasio, shared the sad news of his passing, expressing gratitude for the love and Support shown to Paul over the years. Fellow comedian and writer Sandi Toksvig said working with O’Grady was one of the greatest pleasures of her life, describing him as “funny, fearless, and full of rage.”
Drag artist Danny Beard hailed O’Grady as a “trailblazer” and “the most important person in British culture for drag, for the queer community.” O’Grady’s deep love for animals was well-known, as he and Portasio shared their Kent farmhouse with numerous pets, including dogs, goats, sheep, chickens, and barn owls.
In 2021, O’Grady hosted a special episode of his ITV show, “For the Love of Dogs,” with Camilla, the queen consort, to mark the 160th anniversary of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Peter Laurie, the charity’s CEO, said they would always remember Paul as a devoted animal lover who fell in love with every dog he met at their centers.
In memory of Paul O’Grady, let’s continue his legacy of standing up for the underdog and advocating for animal welfare. Support your local animal shelters, foster or adopt a pet, and spread the love that Paul shared throughout his life.
Animals Are My Favorite People Sweatshirt By Tiny Rescue: Animal Collection
- 10 Vegan Celebrities Who are Active in the Animal Rights Movement
- Animal Rights Activist Raises Questions about Humane Society of New York’s Pet Adoption Process
- 10 Inspiring Lyrics About Animal Rights
- 10 Animal Rights Activists You Should Know and Follow!
- 8 Must-Have Animal Rights-Themed Tees
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast Fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
- Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
- Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
- Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!