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    Carole Cook (1924–2023)

    Acclaimed actress, singer, and Broadway legend Carole Cook died of heart failure on January 11, 2023, just three days before her 99th birthday. Cook was well known to many in the Bay Area LGBTQ community, not only for her work in popular shows such as Follies and Steel Magnolias, but also for her generosity and frequent participation in local queer fundraisers.

    For example, Cook was a regular guest performer at events produced by The Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation (REAF) that helps in the fight against HIV/AIDS and provides support to hunger and youth services. REAF leaders Ken Henderson and Joe Seiler wrote on January 11:

    “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of REAF’s Grand Diva, the amazing Carole Cook, who passed early this afternoon. She was at home surrounded by family and passed peacefully. She was just shy of her 99th birthday this month. Carole loved performing in so many of our Help is on the Way concerts and adored her fans. We will miss her greatly.”

    Cook also performed at many other LGBTQ-supporting fundraisers nationwide, and was particularly active in work helping those with HIV/AIDS, doing so for over four decades or over the course of nearly half of her life.

    Rink Remembers
    Published on January 26, 2023