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Maggie Griffin, wisecracking mom of comic Kathy Griffin, dies at 99

The reality-TV scene-stealer from Oak Park had been suffering dementia.

Kathy Griffin (left) and her mother, Maggie, arrive at the 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards.
Chris Pizzello/AP

LOS ANGELES — The mother of comedian Kathy Griffin, who inspired many of the jokes in her famous daughter’s stand-up routines, has died. Maggie Griffin was 99.

“My Mom, the one and only, Maggie Griffin, passed away” Tuesday, Kathy Griffin tweeted. “I am gutted. My best friend. I’m shaking. I won’t ever be prepared.”

The sweet, impish and quick-tongued Maggie Griffin, who raised her daughter in Oak Park with husband John, was a frequent presence in her daughter’s reality show, “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” in the early 2000s. More often than not, she was holding a glass of wine.

Maggie Griffin’s 2010 memoir, “Tip It! The World According to Maggie,” was named for her catchphrase, a suggestion on how to dispense the last drops of wine from a box.

Addressing her fans, Kathy Griffin said in her tweet: “I’m so grateful you guys got to be part of her life. You knew her. You loved her. She knew it.

“Oh, and OF COURSE she went on St Patrick’s Day,” Griffin went on, followed by three broken-heart emojis.

Griffin told People in 1997 that she developed her dark sense of humor by watching her mother, a hospital administrator, and the rest of her family in Oak Park.

“I come from a veritable Irish Catholic freak show,” she said then. “My parents still think it’s the Depression.”

Griffin revealed on Twitter in January 2019 that her mother had “rapidly fallen into the throes of dementia.”

“Her mind was so naturally quick, funny, and smart,” the comedian wrote. “No one could get anything past her. Watching that slip away so fast has been devastating.