Self-proclaimed ‘goddess of love’ Judy Tenuta dies at 72

Lynne Elber | The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Judy Tenuta, the sassy stand-up artist who toured with George Carlin and called herself the “goddess of love,” who made her career during the golden age of comedy in the 1980s, died Thursday. She was 72 years old.

Tenuta died Thursday afternoon at her home in Los Angeles with her family, spokeswoman Roger Neal told The Associated Press. The cause of death was ovarian cancer.

“She was so funny and a great performer,” said Neil, adding, “It was always a happy time to be by her side.”

Neal said she was born in 1949, although Tenuta claimed her birth date to be November 7, 1965. “She was old school so we never said her real age, but now that she’s gone we can find out her real age.

Her heart-shaped face, adorned with flower-accented plump hair, gave an impression of luscious innocence, but her loud, gravelly speech and sour humor and swearing included. It was immediately smashed because it was The accordion she made part of her performance was, as she affectionately called it, “an instrument of love and submission.”

She was one of a generation of performers who made live comedy popular in clubs across the country, including The Comedy Store in Los Angeles, Rough Stop in Houston, and Carolines in New York City. In a typically male-dominated field, room has been found for women, including Tenuta.

Tenuta gained national attention in 1987 with the HBO special On Location: Women of the Night, co-starring Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Poundstone, and Ritard Donner.

In the 1988 “American Comedy Awards” TV special, Tenuta was named best female comedy club performer against male winner Jerry Seinfeld. Other winners for club or screen work that year included Robin Williams, Lily Tomlin and Bette Midler.

“If I can be a wife and a mother, I’ll trade it immediately,” wisely said the gold-lame-wrapped, gum-chewing Tenuta, who accepted her award from Carlin.

She was a frequent guest on late-night talk shows and game shows, alongside radio shock jock Howard Stern. Her acting and voiceover credits were eclectic, including appearances on ‘The Weird Al Show’ and ‘Space Ghost Coast to Coast’. She performed on stage for ‘The Vagina Monologues’ in Los Angeles and Chicago.

Tenuta grew up in the Chicago suburb of Maywood, where she was described as “St. Obnoxious and Bondage.” She said it became one of her stage names.

After graduating from college, she took odd jobs, including wrapping meat and stocking up at a Catholic religious clothing store.

In a 1989 interview with the Associated Press, Tenuta said, “I got fired when I was caught trying on clothes.” “So his boss came in and I think he was kind of upset and I said, I’m trying to improve these broads.”

Tenuta joined Chicago comedy troupe Second City before embarking on a solo stand-up career. Despite her eccentric attire and outlandish stage appearances, Tenuta said most people immediately noticed her deeds, which included self-centered religiosity, which she called “Judiism.” rice field.

“With my religion, I’m the only one who can complain. The really great thing about my religion is that I can forget all my problems and just think about me for a while,” she said in AP. told communications.

Associated Press journalist Malika Sen contributed to this report from New York. Self-proclaimed ‘goddess of love’ Judy Tenuta dies at 72

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