charles nelson reilly

an icon has passed.  charles nelson reilly died this weekend after a long bout with pneumonia. 

of course, most of us know him from his wacky stints on the tonight show or the match game, but did you know he was a tony award winning actor (and tony nominated director)?  i sure didn’t.

i remember being very fond of him as a boy – there was something so genuine, so playful on those old match game episodes.  it’s sad that he got so type-cast and that most didn’t get to know that he was also a serious actor and director.

sure he was extrodinarily flamboyant and obvious.  but i can tell you, as a young boy struggling to understand he was different (read: gay) it was amazingly comfortable knowing there were gay people out and about in the world.  even if i didn’t know what it was that made him (or me) different.

i remember thinking he was such an incredible “force” – i always liked his episodes the best.

the most powerful aspect of it all?  he is survived by his partner of more than 25 years (giving us all hope), patrick hughes.

for an incredible eulogy check out the following:  charles nelson reilly / l.a. times