Sunday, December 9, 2012
Neil Cohen, November 13, 1963 - December 8, 2012
It is with deep sadness that I must report the untimely death of Neil Cohen, my longtime friend and fellow writer/critic/movie fan.
Neil, who wrote about film and theater for Phoenix's Echo Magazine for almost 20 years, started contributing his Reel Thoughts reviews and interviews to my blog Movie Dearest in 2008, and his pieces always sparkled with the patented "Neil Cohen wit". Neil, who was a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society and the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, counted among his favorite films such Movie Dearest classics as Carrie, Grease, Hairspray, The Parent Trap, Serial Mom and Showgirls.
Over the past few years, Neil gave us great interviews with such stars of stage and screen and GLBT faves as Betty Buckley, Charles Busch, Lynda Carter, Kristin Chenoweth, Christine Ebersole, Leslie Jordan, Stacy Keach, Patti LuPone, Terrence McNally, Julianne Moore, Bebe Neuwirth, Coco Peru, Carrie Preston, Mark Ruffalo, Chita Rivera, Christopher Sieber, Mink Stole, Marlo Thomas, Marisa Tomei (pictured with Neil, above) and, his final piece for Movie Dearest, Broadway legend Bernadette Peters.
In addition to his role as film critic, Neil was a playwright, stage director and actor extraordinaire. His many brilliant performances (as both male and female characters) included those seen in The Bad Seed, La Cage aux Folles, The Maids, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, SantaLand Diaries, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and his own, long-running murder mystery dinner theater production Murder by Proxy.
As befitting a lifelong lover of theater, Neil suffered a fatal heart attack Saturday night while performing in a play. He passed doing what he loved.
Please join me and my fellow Movie Dearest contributor Chris Carpenter in expressing heartfelt condolences to Neil's family and his boyfriend Chuck. We will all miss his joy, his humor, his Oscar parties, his Suzanne Pleshette impersonation; we love you Neil, now and forever.
-- Kirby Holt
Creator and Editor of Movie Dearest