When I Met Marian Seldes

Alas, Marian Seldes has died, at the age of 86. For details of her illustrious career, click here. I became quickly aware of her after moving to New York in the early 1980s. A friend took me to La MaMa in downtown Manhattan to see a revival of “Why Hannah’s Skirt Won’t Stay Down.” It starred a beloved fixture in off-off-Broadway: Helen Hanft. After the performance, my date introduced me to Marian. She dropped deeply to one knee, as if in obeisance to a monarch. “It is a very great honor to meet you,” she said. I thought she was a little bit loco. Only later did I grow to appreciate her uniqueness. When her death was announced, a friend texted me: “They broke the mold on that one.” I replied: “There was never a mold. She was custom.”

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