Photo: 2003 Cadillac Superior Hearse for sale on EBay. Bidding starts at $12,100 with a reserve.
Queen of the Dead – dateline September 26, 2011
• Last week I announced the last Black Knight of Glin, this week it is ninth and last Nawab of Pataudi—Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, 70, died on Sept. 22. “Tiger” Patudi was a champion cricket player (a right-hand batsman and right-arm medium pace bowler, for those of you who follow these things) in the 1960s and ‘70s. He was also the Nawab of Pataudi, a line of Turkish princes dating back to 1806—sadly for Nawabs everywhere, India abolished royal entitlements in 1971.
• I can’t think of any other famous couples who both lived to be 100, can you? Bob Hope’s widow, Dolores Hope, died on Sept. 19 at 102 (Bob himself made it to 100). Dolores had been a promising nightclub singer when they met in 1933—marriage pretty much put an end to that. She went back to the recording studio after Bob retired in the 1980s, but none of her records kept Madonna up nights. Bob was a notorious horn-dog—I thought his longtime affair with Marilyn Maxwell was kind of sweet; he kept casting her in films long after her career had tanked. I doubt Dolores would have used the term “sweet,” though.
• As a New York cultural snob and longtime Lincoln Center gadabout, I was saddened to hear of the Sept. 18 death of William F. May, 95. The Chicago businessman co-founded the Film Society of Lincoln Center in 1969. The Center publishes Film Comment, and presents some of the most cutting-edge movies and great revivals and foreign films in the city, now sadly bereft of so many of our revival and specialty theaters.
• And Tom Wilson, Sr., 80, father of that pantsless comic-strip gnome Ziggy, has died (on Sept. 16). Ziggy has been amusing or annoying comic-strip readers (and providing fodder for the wonderful Comics Curmudgeon website) since 1971. Not to worry: Tom, Jr., has been doing the strip since 1987. Wilson, I almost hesitate to add, was also responsible for unleashing Strawberry Shortcake and the Care Bears into the world.