Zombie Boy from Lady Gaga music video dead at 32

Tabitha Dunn
August 3, 2018

Gaga today paid tribute to her "friend", describing his suicide as "beyond devastating" and urging her millions of followers to pay attention to the mental health of their loved ones. Rick, born in LaSalle, Quebec, Canada, grew up in the Montreal punk scene. "There are so many obstacles and not everyone is able to find a way to overcome them".

He said: "I guess this spiralled me into becoming obsessed with the morbid and macabre".

He was well known for appearing in the video for Lady Gaga hit "Born This Way" in 2011.

He admitted this led to his obsession with the morbid, and despite the operation going well, he pursued his interests in tattoos and body modifications. After living on the streets of Montreal, Genest started by performing in the sideshow business as a freaky entertainer. In one of his first public interviews in 2006 with BME's ModBlog, Ganest admitted that he preferred to be called "Zombie" instead of "Skullboy", to which BME had been referring to him.

Photographer and director Joey L also penned: "RIP to friend of the photo world, Rick Genest @ricothezombie, aka 'Zombie Boy'". "We must save each other".

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Earlier this year, it was announced that artist Marc Quinn would be installing a 3.5-metre bronze sculpture of Genest - complete with his tattoos - in a refurbished section of the Science Museum in London. He also became L'Oreal's first male spokesperson.

He also was in the 2013 fantasy action film 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves, 53.

Rick Genest, aka Zombie Boy, during the making of an anti-bullying video in Montreal in November 2012. He is often called a "living skeleton" as well as his Zombie Boy moniker.

"Zombies, to many, represent a pervasive xenophobia", he said. Indeed, Genest often openly pondered his life, deepest regrets, and even social mistreatment.

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