Image: President Lincoln’s Funeral at the White House, listed on EBay at $375.
Queen of the Dead – dateline February 6, 2012
• The Prettiest Girl in All of Turkey has died: 98-year-old Keriman Halis Ece, on January 28. She won the Miss Turkey pageant in 1932, and Google-imaging her reveals a pleasant young Barbara Stanwyck-looking type. She then went on to win (are you sitting down, and not drinking anything?) the International Pageant of Pulchritude held in Belgium that same year. (I go all Jayne Mansfield even typing that.) Ece came from an impressive family: her uncle and aunt were composers and musicians, her brother a well-known sportsman, but I can’t find much about what she did later in life. I guess once you have been crowned Princess of Pulchritude, everything else is pretty much downhill.
• Well, this is the saddest thing ever: Soap opera actor Nick Santino, 47, killed himself on January 25—his 47th birthday—the day after having had his pet pit bull euthanized. Friends claim his condo board had harassed him about his dog’s barking, and Santino left behind a note reading, “Today I betrayed my best friend and put down my best friend . . . Rocco trusted me and I failed him.” Santino, a kind of Bobby Cannavale type, had continuing roles on Guiding Light and All My Children, and made appearances on NYPD Blue, Gossip Girl and Royal Pains. He also appeared Off-Broadway in Frankie and Johnny (1991) and Fool for Love (1985). He wrote, directed and starred in the 1998 short Steel Crossings, which won several festival awards. Now, I loved my late kitties, and I have friends who were distraught over the loss of their pets—but I think this poor mope had more issues going on than just Rocco. (And for you New Yorkers—there’s now an Upper West Side condo up for grabs!)
• I was shocked to read that Leslie Carter had died, as I thought she had passed on back in 1937. But I was thinking—as I so often do—of the great Mrs. Leslie Carter. This one, sadly, was a 25-year-old singer, sister of Backstreet Boys Nick and Aaron Carter. Leslie had a bubblegum hit in 2001 with “Like, Wow!” which is actually kinda cute. She toured and did club dates, but never got another record deal; she married her drummer, Mike Ashton, had a baby—and now she’s dead, from “what appears to be an overdose of to one gossip site. ” according
• Classical guitarist and male model Patrick Bashford, 82, died on December 21—isn’t “classical guitarist and male model” just the sort of thing you wish for your future husband when you are nine years old? The Telegraph swoons over his “amber eyes,” “athlete’s carriage and trim physique,” and his ability to plunk away at the works of Granados, Torroba, Turina and Villa-Lobos on his guitar. The Telegraph also claims he “rescued male modelling from a twilight sub-gigolo existence,” but I think they are being a wee bit melodramatic, don’t you? Bashford, it is noted, “swam year-round in the Serpentine, slept on a rough attic bed beneath an open skylight, cultivated herbs, had a daily shilling flutter on the horses, and fermented his own wine”—no doubt simply by glaring soulfully at it. He is survived by his wife, Uruguayan lyric soprano Ana-Raquel Satre, and their son, who probably felt just a tad of pressure to excel in life.