Rip Taylor, known as the “King of Confetti” and “The Crying Comedian,”who became an icon of 1970s game shows with his outrageous, flamboyant style and fondness for confetti, has died at the age of 84.
Taylor’s publicist, Harlan Boll, confirmed Taylor died on Sunday in Beverly Hills. The comic, who became a staple on game shows like Hollywood Squares, late-night TV shows, and sitcoms, launched his own show, The $1.98 Beauty Show, meant to be a parody of beauty pageants, in the 1970s.
Taylor’s career spanned more than 40 years, first dabbling in comedy after serving in the Korean War. His first role was as a voice actor for The Jetsons TV series in 1962. In 1963, Taylor made his first national television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, where he earned the nickname the crying comedian as he pretended to cry on stage begging the audience to laugh at his jokes.
“I sat on a stool telling jokes, and nobody was laughing,” he said during an interview with UPI in 1992. “In desperation, I pretended to cry as I begged them to laugh. That killed ’em.”
Throughout his career, Taylor made as many as 2,000 guest appearances on shows like The Hollywood Squares, Match Game, The Gong Show, and Super Password. He also appeared in Tom and Jerry: The Movie, Scooby Goes Hollywood, The Brady Bunch Hour, and To Tell The Truth.
Given Taylor’s long and successful career, the actor and comedian managed to earn a bit of money doing what he loved. According to CelebrityNetWorth, at the time of his death, Rip Taylor’s net worth is estimated to be about $3 million.
Tributes have been pouring in for the beloved comedian. Boll has reported that Taylor is survived by his longtime partner, Robert Fortney.