Ryan Murphy gave a moving tribute to playwright Larry Kramer on Wednesday — after Kramer passed away at the age of 84.
Kramer’s partner, David Webster, told The New York Times that he had been suffering through a bout of pneumonia.
A number of celebrities have posted on social media about the death of Kramer, but Murphy took to Instagram to share an extended story about knowing the man very well.
Ryan Murphy honors Larry Kramer
Murphy — a director, screenwriter, and producer — captioned his photo of a younger Kramer with an explanation of how he had known the man. “I first met Larry Kramer in 2012. The film rights to his groundbreaking play ‘The Normal Heart’ had become available, and I wanted them.”
Murphy went on to explain how the meeting went, stating that, “We had a wonderful first meeting, he was kind and excited about my casting ideas — Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts (who would both go on to do the HBO film with us).”
In addition to noting that he admired Kramer “above all others,” Murphy also said that he loved Kramer’s passion, as well as working with him.
Speaking about Kramer’s work, Murphy wrote the following:
“Larry knew the value of his work, his life, all gay people’s lives — and his fundamental stubborn belief in equality for all made him perhaps the single greatest and most important gay activist of all time.
His fight against government, discrimination, prejudice and big Pharma helped save millions of lives. His fight changed the health care system as we know it.”
Ryan Murphy bought The Normal Heart from Larry Kramer
As Murphy mentioned in his post, he entered negotiations and eventually bought the rights to turn The Normal Heart into a film.
The Glee creator and man behind American Horror Story brought The Normal Heart to HBO in 2014 and the rest is history, as Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo helped turn it into a winner.
But the man behind the story — Larry Kramer — still deserves most of the credit for the story that was well worth telling. Even if it did cost Murphy $1 million to get the rights from Kramer.
Toward the end of his tribute, Murphy also referenced how he was still in contact with Kramer about working on future projects.
Murphy wrote, “Up until the end, we were still plotting. I recently bought the stage rights to do ‘The Normal Heart’ and ‘The Destiny of Me’ in rep on Broadway. He was so passionate and so vital I never imagined he would pass. I thought he’d outlive us all. His work and his spirit will.”