雷电竞娱乐As the first sign of the outbreak of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the early 1980s, Larry Kramer started ringing the alarm — loudly and with fury.

雷电竞娱乐But he was often met with inaction, which drove him to get even louder and more furious.

It was that passion — and aggression — with which the playwright reacted to the onset of the AIDS epidemic in New York City that set him on a course in the 1980s and 1990s that would eventually help shift national health policy.

But early on in his fight, in the depths of his frustration with the lack of coverage by the media and lack of action by the government, he documented his own journey in the 1985 play The Normal Heart. While he was fictionalized as the character Ned Weeks, many of the events were autobiographical, as was the heart of the play itself.

. “It’s wrong to be treated with such inequality. Considering how many of us there are, how much disposable income we have, how much brainpower we have, we have achieved very little.”

in 2001 to establish the Larry Kramer Initiative for Lesbian and Gay Studies at Yale University, where all three of the Kramer men went to school.

“a sad organization of sissies.”

Kramer then founded another group, built on the basis of more extreme action, called Act Up (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), which shined the spotlight with demonstrations like to raise the flag on the high cost of the AIDS drug AZT.

of accusing New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch of “killing Daddy’s friends” (as he put it to his dog) and calling director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Dr. Anthony Fauci “an incompetent idiot.”

Larry Kramer

雷电竞娱乐Larry Kramer, 2012

'The Normal Heart' brought Kramer's story to the stage and screen

As a storyteller at heart, Kramer wrote what he knew best, turning the events of his real-life activism into the subject of The Normal Heart.

The play debuted off-Broadway in 1985 and ran for a year at The Public Theater — and had productions in London, Sydney and Los Angeles before returning to New York almost two decades later in 2004. At that time, as SARS was spreading, Kramer in 2003, “It is a plague that never needed to have happened if people had paid as much attention to it in the beginning as they did with SARS.” In 2011 — 26 years after its off-Broadway debut — the production made its Broadway debut, directed by Joel Grey and starring Joe Mantello, Ellen Barkin, Lee Pace and Jim Parsons.

During that time, the film rights had been originally snagged by Barbra Streisand雷电竞娱乐. “The problem with her was she didn’t know what she wanted to do with it,” Kramer . “And she also was really uncomfortable with the subject of gay sex. I really think it’s important that after eons of watching men and women make love in the movies, it’s time to see two men do so.”

While Streisand later reportedly said it was an issue of “taste, not gender,” it wasn’t until 2011 that Ryan Murphy optioned the play and eventually turned it into a 2014 HBO movie with an all-star cast including Matt Bomer, Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Alfred Molina and Parsons.

Kramer, finally seeing his writing in movie form, a “message film,” adding that "if you’re gay, there’s so much death involved — a scary subject.”

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Ruffalo, who played the fictionalized version of Kramer, recounted the playwright schooling him when they first met, challenging him to reach deeper. “This movie is less about AIDS than it is about love,” he came to realize, as he .

Kramer was satisfied with Ruffalo’s deep study: “We hung out together a lot, and I didn’t ask myself, can he play me. Actors are hired to portray, and good ones like Mark make it their job to go for it all out, which Mark did. He was also extremely passionate about his taking on the part, consumed with it. And this was very touching to me.”

. “I fought to hang on to get to this moment. There were so many times I never thought I would.”

The cast and crew of "The Normal Heart" after their win for Outstanding Television Movie at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (L-R) Producers Ned Martel, Dede Gardner, executive producers Jason Blum, Dante Di Loreto, actress Julia Roberts, producer/director Ryan Murphy, writer Larry Kramer, actors Mark Ruffalo, and Alfred Molina

雷电竞娱乐The cast and crew of "The Normal Heart" after their win for Outstanding Television Movie at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (L-R) Producers Ned Martel, Dede Gardner, executive producers Jason Blum, Dante Di Loreto, actress Julia Roberts, producer/director Ryan Murphy, writer Larry Kramer, actors Mark Ruffalo, and Alfred Molina

He continued to be an advocate for the gay community right until his death

Kramer then turned his focus on his long-form historical novel, The American People, the first volume published in 2015 and the second in 2020, living to see another pandemic sweep the globe with COVID-19.

The outspoken activist and changemaker died on May 27, 2020, of pneumonia, according to his husband David Webster. And at the time of his death at the age of 82, he was still doing what he did best: sound the alarm on pandemics.

He was working on a play about the gay community having to live through three plagues, including COVID-19, as .

雷电竞娱乐“I love being gay and I love our achievements,” he said in 2014. “I’m so discouraged by what we haven't achieved. We have no power in Washington or anywhere else….we have come far but we haven’t come far.”