I was saddened to hear that Royce Reed, co-star of the “Royce and Marilyn” viral videos has passed away. According to the Royce Obsessed Facebook page:
“She passed Tuesday evening. In her sleep they believe heart attack.”
In 2009, when I was guest-blogger at Boing Boing, I helped get the ball rolling on the Royce and Marilyn craze:
It’s hard to believe that this jaw-dropping series of videos of Royce Reed and Marilyn Hoggatt isn’t a massive YouTube sensation… but it will be. Take one (huge) part “Grey Gardens” and add a hefty dollop of Peter and Raymond from “Shut Up Little Man!” and you kind of get into the Royce and Marilyn territory. But not quite. It’s as unique as either and yes, it totally deserves to be spoken of in such esteemed context with these aforementioned FREAKS.
Royce and Marilyn are two elderly ladies from “another era” and these videos document their lives in a SRO hotel in Los Angeles’ downtown “skid row” area (where they share a bed). One of them is happy-go-lucky and content with her life, the other is totally haughty with delusions of grandeur and an ever present glass of bubbly. It’s one of the most tweaked things I’ve seen in some time.
Werner Herzog will plotz when he sees this! These videos are the best thing since medical marijuana.
And so they are!
Royce’s partner in crime—or straight-man in their comic duo—Marilyn Hoggart, died last year. Their YouTube videos will live on forever.
LA Weekly ran a lengthy profile of the pair back in 1999: “Forever Fabulous”