Metro Weekly

Legendary D.C. drag queen Mame Dennis dies aged 74

Carl Rizzi

Carl Rizzi — better known to Washington, D.C.’s LGBT community as Mame Dennis — died earlier today, Monday, February 23, at 2:30 p.m. at the age of 74. Rizzi was a key member of  The Academy of Washington, for which he served as president for 42 years.

The cause of death has not been released, but Rizzi had been hospitalized in Alexandria, Va., two weeks ago for a urinary tract infection. “Things just kept going wrong,” says longtime friend and Academy member, Frank Taylor.

“It really hit us by surprise,” says Richard Armstrong, a.k.a. Regina Jozet Adams. “Total surprise.”

In 2005, Rizzi was the subject of a Metro Weekly cover story in which he discussed his life in drag and his leadership of The Academy.

More details to come.

Carl Rizzi (above) and, below, as Mame Dennis photographed for Metro Weekly by Todd Franson in 2005.

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