‘The Love Goddess’ comedian Judy Tenuta dead at 72

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Known as “The Love Goddess” and “Aphrodite of the Accordion” to her fans, comedian Judy Tenuta died Thursday at age 72.

The wide-ranging comedian died in her home in Studio City, California, after a battle with stage 4 ovarian cancer, publicist Roger Neal told the Associated Press.

“She was a very funny, amazing performer,” said Neal, sharing that it was always a “happy time to be around her.”

Neal said while Tenuta claimed her birthdate as Nov. 7, 1965, she was really born in 1949.

“She was old school so she would never tell her real age, but now that she’s gone we can tell her real age.”

The two-time Grammy nominee toured with George Carlin as her career took off in the 1980s. The comic found her voice on stages such as the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, Laff Stop in Houston and Caroline’s in New York City.


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In 1987, Tenuta garnered attention with “On Location: Women of the Night,” a HBO special she starred in alongside Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Poundstone and Rita Rudner.

The following year, Tenuta was named best female comedy club performer opposite male winner Jerry Seinfeld in the “American Comedy Awards” TV special.

A Chicago native, Tenuta grew up in the suburb of Maywood, alongside six brothers.