Sir Elton leads tributes to playwright and Aids activist Kramer

Sir Elton John has led tributes to Larry Kramer, the playwright who raised theatregoers’ consciousness about Aids, who has died aged 84. Kramer’s husband, David Webster, told The New York Times that Kramer died of pneumonia. His anger was needed at a time when gay men’s deaths to Aids were being ignored by the American government.” Video: Elton John reveals baby Elijah's godmother (Billboard) Kramer, who wrote The Normal Heart and founded the Aids Coalition to Unleash Power, also known as Act Up, lost his lover to acquired immune deficiency syndrome in 1984 and was himself infected with the virus. He also wrote the 1972 screenplay Lost Horizon, a novel, Faggots, and the plays Sissies’ Scrapbook, The Furniture Of Home, Just Say No and The Destiny Of Me, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1993. But for many years he was best known for his public fight to secure medical treatment, acceptance and civil rights for people with Aids. Tributes from the arts community flooded in, with Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda on Twitter saying “What an extraordinary writer, what a life.” Larry Kramer valued every gay life at a time when so many gay men had been rendered incapable of valuing our own lives. Author and LGBT activist Dan Savage wrote: “He ordered us to love ourselves and each other and to fight for our lives. Joe Mantello played the main character of Ned Weeks, the alter ego of Kramer. The play was turned into a TV film in 2014 starring Mark Ruffalo, Jonathan Groff, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina, Joe Mantello and Julia Roberts. Kramer stood onstage in heavy winter clothing as the statuette was presented to director Ryan Murphy.