Paul O’Grady, comedian, TV presenter, animal lover and drag artist, has died unexpectedly aged 67. He rose to fame in the 1990s with his drag queen persona Lily Savage, going on to present BBC One game show Blankety Blank, other light entertainment and celebrity chat programmes.
In the 1990s he brought drag culture into the mainstream and campaigned for the LGBT community with sharp-tongued and mischievous glee.
He was born 14 June 1955 at 7.30am in Birkenhead, brought up in a working class family and was an altar boy. He left school at 16, had a daughter following a brief relationship, and worked initially as a care officer for older people. He put the spikey, caustic Lily Savage alter ego out to pasture in 2004, banishing her to a “a convent in Brittany” and proceeded to forge a successful, multifarious career in television. He won a Bafta for the Paul O’Grady Show, became an advocate for animal rights and having left a long-running BBC Radio show recently was appearing in a new touring production of Annie.
He had a maverick, unconventional and trailblazing Uranus on his Cancer Ascendant conjunct Jupiter in flamboyant Leo trine an Aries Moon conjunct his Midheaven, sextiling onto Mercury in Gemini – he had flair, a gift for words and a comedian’s quirky talent for seeing the humour in bleak places. His Gemini Sun was trine Neptune and sextile Pluto giving his talent weight and influence as well as money-making potential.
Though unexpected, he had a truly Jupiterian exit with tr Jupiter moving through his 10th house at the moment and tr Pluto exactly opposition his Jupiter.
He had been under considerable pressure with acute frustration through 2021/22 with his Progressed Mars conjunct his focal point Pluto, which may have left a mark.
Jupiter through the 10th is not uncommon when people die especially celebrities since there tends to be a celebration of their lives with much publicity.