Ms. Sills was America’s idea of a prima donna. Her plain-spoken manner and telegenic vitality made her a genuine celebrity and an invaluable advocate for the fine arts. Her life embodied an archetypal American story of humble origins, years of struggle, family tragedy and artistic triumph.
At a time when American opera singers routinely went overseas for training and professional opportunities, Ms. Sills was a product of her native country and did not even perform in Europe until she was 36. At a time when opera singers regularly appeared as guests on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” Ms. Sills was the only opera star who was invited to be guest host. She made frequent television appearances with Carol Burnett, Danny Kaye and even the Muppets.
Monday, July 02, 2007
BEVERLY SILLS, 78
Cause of death: Lung cancer. She died in her Manhattan home Monday night. The New York Times has the obligatory canned obit:
Nothing like a canned obit to make your final mark on this plain. Ever wonder what would be in your ready-to-go obituary?