Tributes have poured in for well known Melbourne drag queen Pussy Willow, who died last weekend. She was 39.
Friends confirmed she died of a heart attack on Sunday night, July 8.
Willow was a regular at the Friday Night Project at the GH Hotel and one of the longest performing drag MCs in Melbourne. She also performed at nightclub Love Machine on Sundays.
She was renowned for her quick wit and love of Broadway show tunes.
“Being gay or straight was never an issue. There was never a closet for me to come out of, I was just – me. I think I was predestined to become a drag queen,” Willow said in a past interview.
Willow was known to audiences at former nighclubs the Xchange and Diva Bar, and at the Peel Hotel.
She admired and worked with local drag identities Paris, Kerrie Le Gore and Tabitha Turlington.
Melbourne drag icon and close friend Paris said Willow had a quick wit and was a wonderful entertainer.
“She’s been a big part of Melbourne since she started and what she did was unique,” Paris said.
“She always got on stage basically portraying herself, I think that was the beauty of her act.
“She didn’t rely on diamante and feather, she just relied on her own humour and wit.”
Paris said Willow had a small but very close group of friends.
She said she spoke to Willow on the day she died and that she was “as happy and high on life” as she had known her.
“She went out as happy and positive as I have seen her in my knowing her and that’s the comforting thing,” Paris said.
Friday Night Project co-host Tabitha Turlington said Willow was a very funny person.
“She was always in for the laughs… she had a wicked sense of humour,” Turlington said.
“She could be vile or snappy or humourous; she always had a funny side of everything, that’s what drew us together and we became friends and started working together.”
Tabitha said Willow was very generous and had “a big heart” despite what people may have seen from her stage persona.
“When Vivian [St James] was dying in hospital, she went in every day to visit her and took things in.”
“For the people that she loved and she wanted to be part of her friends and family, she would do anything for them.”
PICTURED: Willow with fellow drag performer Tabitha Turlington. Photo: Alan Mayberry