Retired Gay Star Cole Tucker Dead at Age 61

PALM SPRINGS, Calif.—Retired gay adult performer Cole Tucker passed away at age 61 on Sunday, June 7 in Palm Springs. A prominent star who was active from 1997 to 2006, Tucker revealed in 1999 that he was HIV-positive. His obituary, published by the Boston Globe under his given name, Richard Allen Karp, indicates that he passed from an AIDS-related illness.

Keith Webb, vice president of Titan Media, talked to AVN about Tucker’s passing. “Rick created one of the most iconic gay porn stars ever in his Cole Tucker persona. I remember watching him accept his Performer of the Year award at the 1998 GayVN Awards show and being in awe. He was smart, funny, articulate, humble and very generous with giving back to the people that made him Cole Tucker. While he loved being “Cole Tucker,” he was just as happy and comfortable being Rick Karp. He never lost sight of who Rick Karp really was, and that's what made him so special.”

“He was an awesome human being and I want people to remember that about him!” Webb added.

Webb also shared information on the forum about plans to honor Tucker’s memory:

“A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 13 at 11:00 a.m. at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 1020 East Ramon Road in Palm Springs. The family invites Rick's friends and colleagues to join us.

“The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs.”

Tucker entered the adult business in his 40s after working as a real estate agent. In addition to the 39 titles listed on, Tucker is also known for appearing in Sex/Life in L.A., a 1988 documentary by German director Jochen Hick. The documentarian returned to Los Angeles to film Sex/Life in L.A. 2: Cycles of Porn, in which Tucker talked about his past fame in porn as well as his new life selling real estate in Palm Springs. During his time in the business he worked for many gay studios, including Catalina Video, Hot House and Titan Media.

Tucker was also an AIDS activist who was honored at the 2000 GayVN Awards with a Special Achievement Award for AIDS Causes.

According to the Boston Globe, “He is survived by his brothers Steven, Paul and Alan Karp of Florida, his sister Sarilee Norton of Rhode Island, his nieces Lisa Estrach and Chelsea Karp, his nephews David and Kevin Karp, and his dear friend and former partner Louis Milinazzo of Boston.” Read comments on the site here.