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Len Richmond

August 6, 1943 - February 10, 2014 Went to till the great pot farm in the sky far too soon at 70 following a short illness in his beloved Santa Monica, CA. Len was a sublimely talented playwright, author, filmmaker, journalist and Renaissance Man with an inimitable, spectacularly quirky style. His abundant credits included the iconic & award-winning British comedy series "Agony" (1979-'81); the acclaimed indie romantic comedy "A Dirty Little Business" (1998); and the groundbreaking documentaries "Everything Bad is Good" (2009) and "What if Cannabis Cured Cancer" (2010). A proud gay man long before it came into fashion, Len helped to drive America's evolution from homophobia to wide acceptance and equality as co-editor of the 1973 story anthology "The Gay Liberation Book" and a lifetime of activism. He also worked diligently to promote cannabis as the wonder drug of our time, capable of everything from killing malignancy to beating back the blues. But the whole of Len clearly dwarfed the sum of his parts. To know him was to get swept up into his eccentric, audacious vortex of consumption, hedonism, fussbudgetry, and germ warfare. Len embraced his fascinating life as a compulsive buffet of smells and tastes, escapades and thrills, convictions and neuroses - once earning him the description of being "rather like a narcotic Tigger." He was hilarious, charming, fearless, brilliant, generous, loving, thoughtful, sweet, soulful, giving, entitled, demanding, intense, obsessive, self-centered and utterly exasperating. But Len never permitted his life to be lived on anything short of his own terms. At the end of the day, that's more than most of us ever get. He is survived by his adoring life partner of 13 years, Kyle Cunningham of Santa Monica; devoted sister Romi Gordon of Seattle, WA, and brother Ray Richmond of Studio City; bemused brother-in-law Joel Gordon of Seattle and sister-in-law Jill Holden of Studio City; beloved aunt Bernice Fisher of Calabasas; and too many loving friends and honorary family members to count. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Len's name to NORML, the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (www.norml.org).

Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 20, 2014
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