I just heard the actor and poet Henry Gibson passed and it saddens me, even though he lived a good full life and was in his 70s, which is starting to seem not so old anymore.
It saddens me because he was one of the nicest persons I've ever known. He's best known, at least to those old enough, as a member of the ensemble that made LAUGH IN a hit in the 1960s. He was the little guy who played various characters, but most memorably for many, the silly poet. Or for the last regular TV gig he had as the boss on BOSTON LEGAL.
But a lot of us remember him more for the lead role in the seminal Robert Altman film NASHVILLE. Probably the only time Henry played the lead in a move or TV show. Which is a shame. He was a gifted actor with great range.
I met and became friends with him in the '80s. He was not just always gentle and kind but also enormously generous with his time and attention. He took part in the weekly reading series I co-founded and co-ran with Eve Brandstein, reading his own poetry, which yes sometimes was humorous, but always original in the same way Henry was. I've never known anyone else like him and he will be missed.