Dear Family and Friends,
I've just been informed that my dear, dear friend Joan Kan has died. Just before leaving New York Peter and I went to see Joan and she wasn't feeling well. I talked with the doctors at the Actors' Home and they couldn't find anything really wrong with her but they did tell me they were afraid she might be in the early stages of Alzheimers, but that wasn't life threatening, and I didn't mention it to anyone. In fact when I last spoke to Joan she was as sharp as a tack. But by the time I got to London things started to deteriorate and when Peter and I got back from Barcelona there were messages from Joan's brother, her two nieces and the doctors, as well as from the hospital. Joan had gotten pneumonia and a million other complications. Last Thursday they told me her life was near it's end, and I keep it to myself with hopes it would change. It didn't. I've lost a great friend. Joan's family have told me in four emails today that I was her best friend and that I did so much for her. How wrong can they be I thought? Joan did so much for me. During our thirty-two year friendship she's read everything I ever wrote and proof- read every poem, play, screenplay, and newspaper article I ever wrote, as well as told me where I went wrong. She also opened doors for me that never would have been opened for a boy from Brooklyn, plus she shared her apartment every time I had a party and made a mean Jello mold. She was always there when I needed her and never leaned on me or my time. We usually ate dinner at least twice a week and when it was in my apartment we watched an old movie, preferably "Random Harvest," which she loved and made her cry, and I would laugh and then cry with her. But then she also loved "Dirty Dancing" with it's "Don't put Baby in the corner". She was smart, could do crossword puzzles in seconds and even went to crossword puzzle tournaments; she was an avid golfer, never missed a play whether it was on or off Broadway or in a storefront down the street. And she loved music, all kinds, but most of all "The Music Man, which she worked on with Meredith Wilson, who gave her 5% of his royalties on opening night. She also loved him and his work and his music. Hearing her talk about that wonderful man was humbling. So the next time you see the movie or the play or the listen to the CD and her "Marion the Librarian...", that was Joan's idea and the lynch-pin of the whole thing. What else can I say except I am truly grateful for having such an exciting person in my life. How blest I am to have known Joan Kan. I shall never forget her and her generosity. Who could ask for a better friend.
May the angels light her way, and may she, as she would in all the theater productions she's been in, tell them in the nicest way where to stand! Please pray for her and if near a church light a candle to light her way.