Viktor Kerney

Legendary Paris Dupree Has Passed On

Filed By Viktor Kerney | August 26, 2011 6:15 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Gay Icons and History
Tags: documentary film, New York, Paris Dupree, Paris Is Burning

This week, the Grand Dame of the NYC Ballroom scene, Paris Dupree passed on. Paris was one of the powerful House mothers in New York and Paris Dupree.jpgone of the stars of the legendary documentary, Paris Is Burning.

NEXT Magazine reports:

In New York's drag ball world, Paris Dupree was considered a legend among legends. As the founding mother of the House of Dupree, she was an inimitable force, an iconic figure who mobilized young, urban gays to express themselves in ways that mainstream America could not quite understand. That is until the release of Jennie Livingston 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning, which was named after one of Dupree's grand balls. Details of Dupree's death remain unconfirmed, but friends and fans began Tweeting "R.I.P. Paris Dupree" on August 15. She was living in New York City at the time of her passing.

I remember the first time I saw Paris Is Burning. It was an unforgettable introduction to a world I never knew existed. The presence of the House mothers and their "children" was mind-blowing. Paris was one of the last mothers of the scene. Her passing is a huge loss in our community, but her legacy and fierceness will still live on the ballroom floor.

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How old was she?

I remember the first time I saw Paris is Burning,too . . . alone. I won't go into that. Sort of like when I went to the movies to see Craig Russell's, Outrageous . . . alone . . . way . . . way back. Craig Russell, what an interesting character. Life is so complicated but Paris is Burning is what it is. It was a film for the ages. Did Jenny Livingston know what she was getting herself into? In spite of all the criticism, I am glad she got it down as well as she could at time.