Rip Taylor, one of television’s most flamboyant personalities, who was known as “The Crying Comedian” and “The King of Camp and Confetti,” died Sunday in Beverly Hills, his publicist, Harlan Boll, confirmed. He was 84.
Taylor, whose high-energy personality and confetti-throwing antics quickly made him a mainstay on television, made appearances on everything from sitcoms to talk shows, including “The Gong Show,” “Password,” “The Merv Griffin Show,” “The Mike Douglas Show,” “The Tonight Show” and “Late Night with David Letterman,” along with a hosting stint on “The $1.98 Beauty Show” — a parody of beauty contests whose big prize was a bouquet of rotten vegetables.
Taylor saw even more success outside game shows and late-night TV, headlining the Flamingo hotel’s Rockettes Extravaganza in Las Vegas — where he won Entertainer of the Year three consecutive times — and touring the country in lead roles for productions like “Sugar Babies,” “Anything Goes,” “Oliver,” “Peter Pan” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”
Taylor also appeared in several popular spoof films, including “Repossessed,” with Linda Blair and Leslie Nielsen, and “The Silence of the Hams,” in addition to appearances in “The Monkees” and “The Bradys.”
Taylor is survived by his longtime partner, Robert Fortney. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Thalians, a charity dedicated to mental health causes.