“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 said in a statement provided to several news outlets on Saturday.
“Playing her on SNL was a profound joy because I could always feel the overwhelming love and gratitude that the audience had for her.”
Ginsburg, whose legal renown and lifelong dedication to fighting for equality propelled her to become a feminist and cultural icon, died at her home in Washington on Friday due to complications from pancreatic cancer. She was 87.
McKinnon portrayed Ginsburg many times since at least 2012, usually firing off zingers and dancing after each “Ginsburn” she delivered. She won praise from the justice herself for her impression.
“I liked the actress who portrayed me, and I would like to say ‘Ginsburned’ sometimes to my colleagues,” Ginsburg said at Sundance Film Festival in 2018. She even did an impression of McKinnon’s impression of her.
The two were pictured crossing paths at a “Fiddler On The Roof” performance in New York last year.
McKinnon said Saturday that 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.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.