"I liked the actress who portrayed me," Ruth Bader Ginsburg previously said of Kate McKinnon

By Karen Mizoguchi
September 19, 2020 09:10 PM
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Kate McKinnon is paying tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who she portrayed on Saturday Night Live since 2012.

"For so many of us, Justice Ginsburg was a real-life superhero: a beacon of hope, a warrior for justice, a robed crusader who saved the day time and again," McKinnon, 36, said in a statement to PEOPLE.

"Playing her on SNL was a profound joy because I could always feel the overwhelming love and gratitude that the audience had for her. It was one of the great honors of my life to meet Justice Ginsburg, to shake her hand, and to thank her for her lifetime of service to this country," the comedian said.

Ginsburg, who died on Friday at the age of 87 due to complications of metastatic cancer, served on the court for more than 27 years and was an icon of the court's liberal wing for her unwavering fight for women's rights and social justice.

Credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty; Michael Kovac/Getty

McKinnon often played Ginsburg in a series of Weekend Update segments on SNL, previously making appearances when Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were confirmed.

The long-serving justice once said it's not an exact impression, but McKinnon's version tickled her nonetheless. She watched some of McKinnon's sketches during filming for RBG, a documentary about her life, and even called McKinnon "marvelously funny" if "not one bit" like her.

And while doing press for the RBG premiere in 2018, Ginsburg said, "I liked the actress who portrayed me." And then, perhaps channeling a bit of McKinnon’s version of herself, Ginsburg added, "And I would like to say 'Gins-burn' sometimes to my colleagues."

A private interment service for Ginsburg will be held at Arlington National Cemetery, the Supreme Court said.