The Death of Shelley Winters

Shelley Winters
August 18, 1920 – January 14, 2006
Where do you go to get anorexia?”

This is a woman that can boast two Academy Awards, over 150 films, andhad sex with James Dean, Marlon Brando and Burt Lancaster. She lived life, and had no regrets.  InWhoopi Goldberg’s stage show, she mentioned being in Amsterdam and visiting theAnne Frank house, and finding Shelley’s Oscar there.  It wasn’t there when Ivisited, but I looked for it, and always wondered why it wasn’t.

I met Shelley briefly on my birthday in 2003. Shelley and I shared the same birthday, and I knew she hung at the Silver Spoon, so I dropped off someflowers.  

I desperately wanted her to autograph thispicture for me, but itreally looked like a feeding frenzy of people that were there to prey on thewoman.

  This picture was taken about a half hourafter I left, I was seated directly behind her.

Shelley lived in this rather modestduplex in the flats of Beverly Hills.  

When I visited, the wheelchairramp was lying on its side, waiting to be removed.  No doubt Gerry (herboyfriend) would wheel her in this front door.  

Wanna see her mailbox?

Shelley suffered a stroke on October of 2005, and needed surgery, however, because her heart was weak, they decided againstit. As she lie on her death bed, Sally Kirkland/Kellerman/Whatever, an ordainedminister of something, married Shelley and Gerry(her partner of almost 20 years) in an unofficial ceremony. Shelley died on January 14th of this year, in the Rehabilitation Center of Beverly Hills. 

She was 85 years old.

Shelley was buried close to her parents, in a private ceremony – at Hillside Cemetery in Culver City.  

I took this picture a few daysafter her burial.

There was a memorialthis afternoon (Friday, January 27th, 2006) at The Spoon.  

Tequila fromthe Rock City News was there, as were several cronies.  Skip E. Lowe, RobertForster were amongst them.  

Mr. Blackwell had a sore throat, so this creature got upand read Blackwell’s statement about Shelley. 

 Inotice Blackwell actually about to break down, and creature made an announcement, “LOOK, HE’S CRYING.” Class.  (I know, says me.

Creature did mention that Shelly’s favorite meal was tuna on toast withchocolate milk, which was coincidentally his (big eye roll)favorite meal, and asked the Spoon to put it on their menu.  For therecord, Blackwell was wearing – I shit you not – a Members Only jacket.

Sally Kirkland/Kellerman/Whatever spoke, and inrecord time made it all about her, and where flew in from earlier, and who she spoketo.  Interesting snippets:  She knew Shelley since 1961. She claimed Shelley would have died 5 years ago if it weren’t forthe love and support of Gerry, her partner.  People applauded when Sallysaid this.  Sally also said that Shelley told her, “I’m the only person that can say ‘fuck’ and still be considered a lady.” For some reason, Sally also mentioned that Shelley had a problem with her teeth,and would eat a lot of soup, custard and rice pudding.

A lot of people really liked Shelley.  Iknow that she had a reputation of not being dependable.  Chat shows inBritain wouldn’t fly her over because she was known to take the first classtickets and accommodation, and just decide not to show up.  When she didshow up, however, it usually wasn’t disappointing.  One recollection I foundfrom a message board, “on the Tonight Show, during a heated discussion with Oliver Reed (who made several scathing remarks about women), she (Shelley) left the stage (a bit upset). A few minutes later she returned from the other side with a bucket of ice and cold water and deposited it on Reed’s head.”

According to a report I clipped from a British paper in 2001, when Shelley’s sister Blanche died, she scattered the ashes on Marilyn Monroe’s grave. “I wanted my two best friends to be together.” A nice story, but doubtful as Marilyn is in a wallcrypt.

Trivia:  Shelley once shared thisapartment with Marilyn Monroe.  

How cool would that placebe to live in?  Or visit.  Yeah, way cool.

Everyone remembers The Poseidon Adventure,the best disaster film ever. Parts of it were filmed on the QueenMary, which is positively perfectly permanently parked in Long Beach.  

The ship is impressive, andbeautiful.  

TPA was my first PG movie ever.  I remember having to havean adult go to the box office with me, because I was refused.  Do they evenbother checking that stuff anymore?  Check out the cool TPAdolls

Here’s a weird story:  A couple of years ago, I wasdrinking with Dead Larry at this bar in Silverlake, and this woman personcreature thingy in a wheelchair started talking to me.  I was prettyhammered, so I didn’t mind.  Then I accidentally dropped her beer, andbought her a new one.  We hung out for about an hour or so, and she/hetells me she used to be a professional swimmer, and was the stand in/swimmingdouble for little EricShea in The Poseidon Adventure. Now, I don’t know if this is true, butif I were going to make something up, I’d make up something better than that. I boasted, “guess who I met?” to anyone that would listen.

So, a couple of years pass, and I’ve seencreature tooling around LA on occasion, and in this month’s edition of thebizarre magazine called Bizarre,that features yours truly, there is also a spread on creature!  

She goes by the name Sandie Crisp and The Goddess Bunny.  Upon furtherresearch, she is the star of one of the most disturbing internet videos (notfilthy, just plain disturbing) available, and you can viewit here.  LA is such an odd place to live.

See Shelley onTheMatch Game.

This story is dedicated to loyal Findadeathfriend and benefactor Shelly.  I thank you for your generosity.

UPDATE February 2006, fromFindadeath friend, Chris:

You’re not alone when you say you couldn’t find Shelley Winters’ Oscar at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.  I specifically went to see it the day I arrived in Amsterdam and it wasn’t there.  I e-mailed the AFH when I got back to America, asking where the Oscar was and why wasn’t it on display.  Their sheepish answer was “Oh, of course it’s on display; didn’t you see it?”  No.  They even took over the property next door and they’re telling me there’s still not enough room for the displays?  Sheesh.

 No doubt it’s (back) on display now that Shelley’s dead.  Would love to have this confirmed.

Also February 2006, from Findadeath friend, Robert:

Scott,

I was looking up some information on Shelley Winters after reading your story on her.  On the imdb.com movie database site, I was reading some biography on her.  Here is something interesting mentioned in the article on Shelley:

Her marriage to Franciosa broke up when he had an affair with Lauren Bacall. During their affair, Bacall called up Winters and complained, “I’ve been waiting for Tony for an hour. Where the hell is he?” Shelley said, “You’re complaining to me because my husband is late for a date with you?” Bacall answered, “If your husband doesn’t respect your marriage, why should I?”

I always thought Bacall looked like she could be a real bitch.  Don’t know if it is true, but it’s a great story and I believe Bacall would do it from what I have read about her.

 Just thought I would pass the info along.

Thanks, Robert!

 

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