Sean Sasser, AIDS Activist And 'Real World: San Francisco' Cast Member, Dies Aged 44

Subscribe to Freddie Mercury alerts

Sean Sasser, who featured in the reality show The Real World: San Francisco, has died aged 44. Sasser was featured on the show owing to his relationship with primary cast member Pedro Zamora. 

David Rainey
David "Puck" Rainey who starred on The Real World: San Francisco with Sasser's partner Pedro Zamora. Photographed with his son at the 2010 'Reality Bash' in L.A.

Sasser was HIV positive and died of a rare lung cancer, mesothelioma. This cancer, according to Queerty, has been linked to the weakened immune systems of those suffering from HIV.

When he appeared on The Reeal World, the show received positive critical responses owing to its depiction of AIDS, especially of Zamora living with the condition. Zamora and Sasser's partnership was one of the first openly gay relationships portrayed in popular media. Their commitment ceremony was televised in 1994. Tragically, Zamora died later that year. 

The show, focussing on a group of housemates living in San Francisco, also starred David "Puck" Rainey, Rachel Campos, Mohammad Bilal, Pam Ling and Cory Murphy.

Sasser's death was announced by his friend and fellow cast member, Judd Winick, who wrote "our friend Sean Sasser had died. Our love goes out to his family and husband Michael. We will miss u so much."

Since this announcement, made yesterday (8 August), Winick has made many posts remembering both Sasser and Zamora, particularly their work in raising awareness of AIDS.

Sasser was an eloquent AIDS activist who had met Zamora at a demonstration in Washington. Owing to his tireless work, he met President Bill Clinton in 1995 and many Twitter users have said his work encouraged them to safe decisions about protection and partners (as one Twitter user tweeted in response to Winick's tragic news).

AIDS related illnesses have taken and affected the lives of many famous people including actor Rock Hudson; Queen singer Freddie Mercury; Basketball player Earvin "Magic" Johnson; entertainer Liberace; rapper Eazy-E and model Gia Carangi. World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December. 

Sasser is survived by his life partner Michael Kaplan. Contactmusic sends their condolences to Sean Sasser's family and friends. 

Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson announced he is HIV positive over 20 years.


Tags: Freddie Mercury - Rock Hudson - Magic Johnson

Subscribe to Freddie Mercury alerts

More Freddie Mercury

Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury Duet To Appear On New Queen Album

Queen Forever, a new album being compiled by Queen’s guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, will feature a previously unreleased duet between frontman Freddie...

John Deacon Rules Out Any Involvement In Freddie Mercury Biopic

Former Queen bassist John Deacon is apparently having nothing to do with the upcoming biopic of the group's late singer Freddie Mercury as he continues...

Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be Freddy Mercury - Ben Whishaw

Remember Stars in Their Eyes? That was good wasn’t it, and while it may have provided an incredibly cheap platform on which to build this...

Brian May Teases Possible 'New' Queen Album After New Demos Are Found

Its been more than two decades since the passing of Freddie Mercury, but before his tragic passing, the powerful Queen vocalist may have spent more...


Ben Whishaw Lands Freddie Mercury Role, Replaces Sacha Baron Cohen

Actor Ben Whishaw has reportedly stepped in to play legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury after the recent departure of Sacha Baron Cohen. The 33 year-old...

Brian May Explains Why Sasha Baron Cohen Was Wrong For Freddie Mercury Biopic

The planned biopic of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury's life has been in discussion for three years now, with comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen in line...

Daniel Radcliffe A No-Go For Freddy Mercury Role, But Why?

Since Sacha Baron-Cohen dropped out of the Freddy Mercury biopic, a few names have been touted for his return.Johnny Depp was even mentioned following his...

Daniel Radcliffe Rumoured Freddie Mercury Replacement After Sacha Baron Cohen Steps Out

Sacha Baron Cohen as Freddie Mercury: it was almost too perfect. The looks, the singing ability, the eccentricity, the confidence; the planned Queen biopic was...



Freddie Mercury Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Freddie Mercury

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All