Elton John Pays Tribute to ‘Warrior’ Gay Rights Activist and Author Larry Kramer

Elton John
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Elton John poses in the press room with the award for Best Original Song - Motion Picture during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Elton John has remembered his friend Larry Kramer, the late gay rights and AIDS activist, screenwriter, and author, as “a warrior” for his cause and a “giant of a man.”

Kramer, who penned the Tony Award-winning play The Normal Heart and earned an Oscar nomination for his screenplay to Women in Love, died Wednesday (May 27) after a battle with pneumonia. He was 84.

Kramer’s passing is “the saddest news,” writes Elton on social media. “We have lost a giant of a man who stood up for gay rights like a warrior.”

Away from the stage and screen, Kramer founded the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) in 1987. His “anger,” notes John, was “needed at a time when gay men’s deaths to AIDS were being ignored by the American government, a tragedy that made the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and ACT UP movements so vital.”

As a creative, Kramer was best known for writing The Normal Heart, which debuted 1985 at The Public Theater in New York. A 2014 film version by HBO went on to score two Emmy Awards, including outstanding TV movie.

Kramer “captured the outrage and spirit of these turbulent times in his brilliant play ‘The Normal Heart’ along with his many other writings,” notes John. “I was proud to know him and his legacy must be maintained. My heart goes out to his beloved husband David Webster.”

See Elton’s post below.

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