RIP New York Times Elizabeth Taylor Obit Writer, 1933-2005


The news of Elizabeth Taylor’s passing has put an added sadness to this already gloomy day, but not everyone was shocked. The New York Times‘ principal writer for the Taylor obituary died almost six full years ago. Mel Gussow, a Times theater critic, died after a battle with cancer in 2005. He was 71. Gussow had written over 4,000 pieces for the New York Times, one of them, apparently, was the Elizabeth Taylor obit they had ready to run for over half a decade.

The Times ran this subhead with the piece:

Mel Gussow, the principal writer of this article, died in 2005. Peter Keepnews contributed updated reporting.

Gussow’s first ever Broadway play review was of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, which was famously adapted into a film starring Elizabeth Taylor.

Rest in peace.

Elizabeth Taylor
February 27th, 1932-March 23rd, 2011

Mel Gussow
December 19th, 1933-April 29th, 2005

[h/t Andy Greene]