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Sunday, January 22, 2023 | News


Some sad news to report from the world of cult film and midnight movie fandom. Sal Piro, the founder and longtime president of The Rocky Horror Picture Show Official Fan Club, has died. An original member of Greenwich Village’s legendary Waverly Theatre audience, Piro founded the fan organization in 1977, helping launch the racy sci-fi horror spoof from an underground hit to a worldwide phenomenon.

Sal Piro introducing “THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW” in the 1980 hit film “FAME.”

From The Rocky Horror Picture Show Official Fan Club’s Facebook page: 

 “It is with a very heavy heart that we pass on the news that Sal Piro, founder and long time president of The Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Club has passed away. Sal founded the fan club in 1977 and was the defacto face of Rocky Horror fandom for decades. He appeared in the movie “Fame” as the Rocky Horror emcee. He had a cameo in the Rocky Horror sequel “Shock Treatment”. He also had a cameo as the wedding photographer in the 2016 Rocky Horror television remake. In the days before the internet Sal kept the fandom up to date on Rocky Horror going-ons with newsletters, and personal mail responses. He was a key part of Rocky Horror conventions, especially the ones where 20th Century Fox had a hand in producing. He wrote several books about Rocky horror including two volumes of “Creatures of the Night” which chronicled several years of the fandom. To say the cult following wouldn’t be the phenomenon it is today is an understatement. He will be sorely missed…

A photo of Sal Piro from the Rocky Horror Picture Show Official Fan Club Facebook page.

For nearly 50 years, Piro was the face of Rocky Horror fandom, appearing in numerous documentaries about the 1975 Richard O’Brien musical. He was also the author of two books about The Rocky Horror Picture Show‘s enduring cult following, Creatures of the Night: The Rocky Horror Experience, released in 1990, and 1995’s Creatures of the Night II.  

William J. Wright
William J. Wright is RUE MORGUE's online managing editor. A two-time Rondo Classic Horror Award nominee and an active member of the Horror Writers Association, William is lifelong lover of the weird and macabre. His work has appeared in many popular (and a few unpopular) publications dedicated to horror and cult film. William earned a bachelor of arts degree from East Tennessee State University in 1998, majoring in English with a minor in Film Studies. He helped establish ETSU's Film Studies minor with professor and film scholar Mary Hurd and was the program's first graduate. He currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with his wife, three sons and a recalcitrant cat.