We were saddened at the news that Barbara Cook passed away this morning, age 89. Barbara and her son, Adam LeGrant, were among the first families to appear in PFLAG NYC’s “Stay Close” Campaign, featuring intimate portraits of celebrities with their LGBT loved ones.
Suzanne Ramos, one of the creators of the Campaign and former PFLAG NYC Board Chair, shared this memory of Barbara on hearing the news:
I was excited as we gave Barbara’s name to the doorman in her Riverside Drive building. After sending us up to her apartment — Jim Lewin, who was the creative director on the Stay Close campaign, the photographer for the photo shoot, and I — we disembarked on her floor, rang the bell, and were greeted by her son, Adam. “My mom’s doing her hair,” he told us. In a few minutes, Barbara popped out with rollers in her hair. “I’ll be right with you,” she said disappearing back into her bedroom for a few more minutes. (How did she come out looking so gorgeous so quickly?) During the shoot, the interaction between Mother and Son was sweet and affectionate.
Months later, Barbara agreed to have us honor her at our gala AND to sing at the event. Her performance drew a large crowd and was a real fundraising boost for us, just one example of Barbara’s generosity, warmth and kindness, not to mention her luminous voice.
She was a great friend to PFLAG NYC. It was a joy to know her.
Accolades to Barbara have been coming from so many in the Broadway community, but we like especially this one from Audra McDonald, another “Stay Close” campaign celebrity:
I love you Barbara. Thank you for being such an incredible mentor. Rest now you sweet sweet angel. pic.twitter.com/beZ5m2ViYn
— Audra McDonald (@AudraEqualityMc) August 8, 2017
For more on Barbara Cook, the obituaries in Variety and the New York Times have humanizing details about her impressive career and life story.
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