Category: Obits

Try to remember

I was crushed by the death last week of Jerry Orbach at 69. Of course I adored him as wry Detective Lennie Briscoe on Law & Order. But I first came to love him as Julian Marsh in 42nd Street on Broadway (This was the show that set off a maniacal but short-lived obsession with tapdancing.) Jerry’s voice was clear, strong and masculine, and I saved up my allowance to see the show three times. As much as I enjoyed Richard Gere’s performance in the movie of Chicago, there’s no comparison with Jerry’s standard-setting Billy Flynn in the original cast recording.
Jerry Orbach oozed New York from every pore. He was actually declared a “living landmark” a few years ago, which is entirely appropriate since I’d wager that most non-Americans’ mental picture of “New York cop” features Lennie Briscoe front-and-center.
Rest in peace, dear Jerry. You entertained us all so well.
jerryorbach.jpg

The Eternal Unger and opera-loving celebrities

Of course by now you’ve heard of the death of Arts > Television > Tony Randall, Half of the ‘Odd Couple,’ Dies at 84″ href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/19/arts/television/19RAND.html”> Tony Randall at 84.
I used to see Tony Randall at the Met all the time: performances, dress rehearsals, even just hanging out in the cafeteria. He was quite the opera buff, aruguably more so than our other frequent-operagoing pet celebrities: then-mayor Giuliani, fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, and actress Joanne Woodward.
Other auspicious sightings: I saw Kofi Annan in a private box for Norma, the night before he won his Nobel Peace Prize. Sharing the box with him were Henry Kissinger and John Negroponte. Draw your own conspiracy theory.
Once, during a gala performance of L’elisir d’amoreattended by then-Argentine president Carlos Menem, Senator Christopher Dodd came back late from intermission. I quietly let him into the auditorium just as Dr Dulcamara was singing the following lines:
Idol mio, non pi rigor.
Fa felice un senator.

“Make a Senator happy”. I bet Ted Kennedy uses that line all the time.

A great lady

Being the makeup nut, perfume fiend and wanna-be billionairess that I am, I was very saddened to learn of the death of beauty pioneer and tycoon Estee Lauder.
Lauder was a master of marketing savvy: she knew instinctively (unlike Freud) what women wanted and how to give it to them. She knew that 1950’s women would not splurge on a perfume for themselves, which is why she released Youth-Dew as a bath oil: the most successful fragrance introduction of its time, incidentally. She also pioneered the concept of the “gift with purchase”: what modern woman does not have a stash of makeup bags and doll-sized bottles of moisturizer from endless GwPs?
The Estee Lauder companies are worth a combined $10 billion and account for two of every five cosmetics products sold in the USA. And Estee (nee Esther Mentzer of Queens) started it all with a Hungarian relative’s recipe for face cream. Not bad for just under 60 years in business.
So here’s to a true pioneer for women in business. It’s too early to raise a glass but I shall raise a bottle of perfume in her honor. (Spellbound, to be exact)

RIP David Hookes

If your not an Australian, or a devoted cricket fan, you’ve probably never heard of David Hookes. If you are, then you know Hooksey was a deadset legend in his own lunchbox, a great entertainer on the cricket field and a larger then life personality.
He was bashed senseless by an arsehole of a bouncer and died last night in hospital.
Heaps of Aussie blokes are probably like me; stunned at the death of a bloke that they idolised growing up in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Even though his cricket career didn’t take off in the way everyone hoped, he was still well respected for his talent, his willingness to have a go, and the way he stuck by his mates. After his career on the field ended, he worked in the media, and was coaching the Victorian cricket team, with some success.
Thanks for the memories Hooksey!

Reason 1,437 Why I Won’t Have Plastic Surgery

Because you can die. As in, cease to live. As in, become an ex-person. That’s it, fini, hope you had a good run, too bad that elective surgery didn’t work out, have a nice afterlife, see ya!
I firmly believe in plastic surgery as an important means to give the disfigured back their lives, but I also think that sometimes we forget that this is SURGERY, and that the human body isn’t really designed to be flayed, punctured, deflated, lifted and tucked as a matter of course.
‘Cause, you know, that whole DYING thing is sort of a bummer. I don’t care if death by plastic surgery is statistically insignifigant, the fact is you can avoid it by NOT HAVING VANITY WORK DONE.
Of course, we’re free to choose. But me, my golden years will be spent heading to Victoria’s Secret for girdles and push-up bras and then to the drugstore for nightcream. Unless I skew the statistics by getting hit by a bus on the way, the mortality rate for Cetaphil use currently stands at zero.