What Happened to 'Drag Me to Dinner' Star Heklina? She Died at 55

Katherine Stinson - Author

May 31 2023, Published 1:45 p.m. ET

Source: Hulu

The queen of the San Francisco drag scene was sadly found dead while on tour in London on April 3, 2023. But what happened to Heklina?

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The Drag Me to Dinner star was only 55 years old, and had established an incredible legacy.

Here's everything we know about Heklina's cause of death.

(L-R) Heklina, David Burtka, and Neil Patrick Harris on 'Drag Me to Dinner'
Source: Hulu

(L-R) Heklina, David Burtka, and Neil Patrick Harris on 'Drag Me to Dinner'

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What was Heklina's cause of death?

Heklina was found by her fellow drag queen Peaches Christ in a London flat. Heklina and Peaches were in town to perform their show Mommie Queerest.

Although Heklina's cause of death has not been officially disclosed yet, what we do know is that investigators concluded that there was no sign of foul play, per The Bay Area Reporter.

Heklina's advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community was certainly not forgotten in the wake of her untimely death, with many fans of the drag star recalling how she co-founded Trannyshack, a popular San Francisco drag bar in the '90s, among many other projects dedicated to fostering safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community.

Heklina, who was born Stefan Grygelko, had Icelandic heritage, so her drag queen name was inspired by Hekla, a volcano in Iceland.

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Heklina appeared on the Hulu series 'Drag Me to Dinner' before her death.

One of Heklina's last on-camera appearances was for the Hulu series Drag Me To Dinner, a variety game show featuring legendary drag queens like Heklina performing a variety of fun tasks in a dinner party like setting for Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka.

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Each drag queen was paired with another queen to compete in a variety of challenges, from cooking dinner to crafting cocktails. Heklina appears in Drag Me to Dinner Season 1, Episode 10, titled "Big Bottom Big Top."

On the show, Heklina and Peaches Christ were teamed up for their episode, battling it out against their fellow queens Meatball and Biqtch Puddin'.

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Drag Me to Dinner host Murray Hill paid tribute to Heklina in an interview with PopCulture — "The thing that is so beautiful about Heklina is she's always championed everyone – every queen, king, non-binary [performer] – they're always saying, 'Oh, Heklina is the first person to book me in San Francisco...' so she really is the matriarch."

Murray added, "And I think this episode, we're going to see her in her light and her funniness and also the icon that she is."

Fellow Drag Me to Dinner star and drag queen Bianca Del Rio hopes fans watch Heklina's episode and realize the late legendary drag queen was "a good b---h and highly f---king entertaining." She added, "She brought the fun, she brought the humor, and I'm so glad that the episode is being aired. She would love it, trust me, because it shows her sick, demented, rotted, hysterical self and I'm just glad that everybody gets to see it."

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