In the September 7 issue of The New Yorker, there is a wonderful portrait of a veteran of Hollywood’s Golden Age. What makes the piece even more sweetly nostalgic is that its subject, Monica Lewis, passed away in June. Ten days after she was interviewed.
Staff writer Tad Friend journeyed to the Motion Picture & Television Fund retirement home in Woodland Hills, Calif., to speak with the retired actress and voice for a famous Chiquita Banana jingle. Ninety-three at the time, she told Friend that the one Tinseltown era friend still around and in touch was singer Tony Bennett:
“The last time I saw Tony, we were crossing the street in New York, on Fifth Avenue. He held his hands up dramatically and stopped traffic, and he hugged me. Then he said, ‘Go now—you can cross.’”
After turning down a marriage proposal in the 1950s from Ronald Reagan, Lewis went on to wed and live happily with studio executive Jennings Lang for four decades. Lang passed away in 1996. RIP.
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