Friday, May 14, 2010

R.I.P, Rosa Rio

From The Washington Post's Post Mortem:

Word has reached us from Florida that Rosa Rio, the last of the silent-movie organists, has died at the magnificent age of 107. (She would have been 108 in less than three weeks.)

She began playing piano in her native New Orleans at 4 and was appearing in theaters when she was 10 -- in 1912, in other words -- and gave her final public concert last year. She was still playing piano at home a week before she died. I think it's safe to say that her professional career of 97 years has to be among the longest in show-business history.

Until she turned 105 in 2007, Miss Rio never revealed her age, saying, "Honey, age is just a number and mine is unlisted."

She was trained at the Oberlin and Eastman conservatories but was better known for performing the themes and incidental music for radio soap operas, comedies and mysteries, including "The Shadow," with Orson Welles, "The Bob and Ray Show," "Cavalcade of America" and "The Goldbergs." She worked for NBC and later played for TV soap operas. In a 2006 interview with NPR, Miss Rio played the theme of "The Shadow" from memory.

The worlds of old-time radio and silent film have lost one of their most prized possessions…R.I.P, Ms. Rio…you’ll never know how much you’ll be missed.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is another like Rosa Rio:
Herbert Benton "Ben" Connor. Connor never tells his age to anybody and after he died, he was 83. He has no immediate family.