Friday, January 27, 2012

Diane Sinclair

I learned a few days ago that Diane Sinclair, a well-known dancer in early television, passed away last May. She was 90.

Ms. Sinclair and her dance partner, Ken Spaulding, were the featured dance team on Kay Kyser’s 1949-1950 TV show on NBC-TV (they joined the show in early 1950). They also starred on Dave Garroway’s 1953-1954 NBC show, and on The Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney Show, also on NBC, from 1951 to 1953.

In 1954, Ms. Sinclair appeared on the cover of Life magazine; the photograph of her was taken by Gordon Parks. A photo feature by Mr. Parks, inside the issue, concerned Ms. Sinclair and Ken Spaulding.

I interviewed Ms. Sinclair at length, in 1984, for my book about early television. I loved the conversation: Ms. Sinclair’s comments, I have long felt, are some of the most interesting, and insightful, in the book.

After the book was published, at the end of 2007, I sent her a copy, and we ended up speaking by phone, on several occasions, over the next few years.

I remain grateful for the interview she gave me, in 1984. I am also grateful for the friendship (a warm, if intermittent, one) which came about, years later, and am very saddened to learn about her death.

Here is a Wikipedia page about Ms. Sinclair:

(Image above: Gordon Parks's photograph of Diane Sinclair, on the cover of the January 25 1954 issue of Life magazine)