While there is a great deal of Emmy buzz about the performances in “The Normal Heart,” let us not forget Larry Kramer who wrote the original landmark play back in 1985 and adapted it for this long-awaited telefilm version.
He loosely based the character of Ned Weeks (Mark Ruffalo) on himself and the events were inspired by his experiences during the early days of the AIDS crisis in New York City. In 1982 he helped establish Gay Men’s Health Crisis but was eventually ousted because of his confrontational manner, as is shown in the film. In 1987, he founded the organization AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), an activist organization committed to confronting the growing AIDS crisis in New York. The activities of that group were the subject of the 2012 Oscar-nominated documentary “How to Survive a Plague.”
In 2011, when the first-ever Broadway production of “The Normal Heart” won the Tony Award for Best Play Revival, producer Daryl Roth brought Kramer on stage with her. She let this firebrand have the last word and what followed was a brief but moving moment that encapsulated everything that “The Normal Heart” and Kramer’s work as an activist had been about. Watch at the bottom of this post.
He is no stranger to Hollywood awards, having earned an Academy Award nomination in 1970 for adapting D.H. Lawrence‘s novel “Women in Love. While he lost to Ring Lardner, Jr. for “M*A*S*H,” Glenda Jackson won the first of her two Best Actress Oscars.
Kramer, who was diagnosed as HIV positive in 1988, has been in declining health in the last few years. So, imagine how moving it would be were he to win the Emmy for Best TV Movie/Miniseries Writing, take to the stage and deliver another eloquent statement on the illness that has claimed so many.
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