Photo: A model of a 1959 Cadillac hearse, listed on EBay for $599.99.
Queen of the Dead—dateline November 21, 2011
• “The Baroness Huntingtower died on the 8 th inst.,” said Lady Prudence Fairfax. “Not Katherine Grant of Rothiemurchus, the 12th Countess of Dysart!” exclaimed Lady Marjorie. “Such a shock, though she was 93.” Yes, there is one less Countess in the world, and there are few things I would not give to be called The Baroness Huntingtower (though that is my nickname down at the Blue Bar on 44th Street). Lady Katherine Greaves was a Scottish (not “Scotch,” if you please) peeress who didn’t even get to become a Countess till her childless sister, Lady Rosamund Agnes, popped her clogs in 2003. “No mourning, no flowers please,” says her London Times death notice. I shall withhold the flowers (though I have a huge floral blanket reading POLA) but I damn well shall mourn.
• I am a proud fashionista, as you may or may not know, and one of my must-haves is the classic pump: tapered heel, round-toed. I read in the New York Times that Monroe Geller, 95, died on November 17—he was a second-generation owner of Andrew Geller Shoes, and, in the obit’s words, “The younger Mr. Geller entered his father’s business in 1936 and helped shape it in to one of the leading manufacturers of the classic high-heel ‘pump’ after WW II.” For which I thank him! Those shoes look great, are comfortable and walkable, and make me feel like Suzy Parker, striding elegantly down the street. Geller was also “an avid collector of modern art . . . a major contributor to the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University,” and is survived by umpty-million grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
• Malaysian-born British stage and screen actress Dulcie Gray, 95, died on November 15 in Middlesex, England. Gray was already a popular theater player when she entered films in the early 1940s. She appeared in such films as Wanted to Murder, A Man About the House, Mine Own Executioner, The Glass Mountain, The Franchise Affair, and A Man Could Get Killed, and on numerous TV shows (including Rumpole of the Bailey and Howards’ Way). Gray was married to frequent costar Michael Denison from 1939 till his death in 1998. Her Telegraph obit notes that Gray wrote “some two dozen murder mysteries, which found wide popularity, eight radio plays, several volumes of short stories and an autobiography,” as well a song titled “You Tickle Me Spitless, Baby.”
• Karl Slover, 93, one of the few remaining Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz, died on November 15 in Georgia. Born in Slovakia, Slover (also billed as Karl Kosiczky) was a pituitary dwarf, who only grew to 4’4”. He worked with a traveling carnival in Germany, getting the hell out before the Nazis were starting to liquidate people like him under the lebensunwertes leben program. He appeared in such films as The Terror of Tiny Town, Block-Heads, Bringing Up Baby and They Gave Him a Gun, and played several Munchkins (a Sleepyhead, a soldier) in 1939’s Wizard of Oz. Slover later toured with Singer’s Midgets and the Royal American Carnival.