Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Fred Morton, 90, Literary Hero and Our Friend from Elaine’s


I’m very saddened to write this notice that Fred Morton has passed away. I knew him from Elaine’s going back almost thirty years. Even up til the end of Elaine’s, Fred, a literary giant who was quite humble and self effacing, would bounce in for dinner wearing tennis shoes. He never looked his age, ever. He was a little older than Elaine Kaufman, our bounteous godmother. She’d always say, “Can you believe it? You’d never guess how old he is!”

Fred’s high status at Elaine’s was because he’d written the book on “The Rothschilds” that becameĀ  the basis for the Broadway musical with Hal Linden. He was a highly entertaining conversationalist, and knew things that were going on — just a little good gossip. I’d say he was one of the most welcome diners in the eatery’s history, and a dear dear man.

Here is his New York Times obit today by Bruce Weber. It’s ironic of course that Fred escaped Austria as a child, only to die there in a hotel room while on a visit. He’s one of those people that will be sorely missed, and always remembered fondly.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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